Curfew lifted a day after Sri Lanka was rocked with multiple blasts

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka on Monday lifted the curfew which was indefinitely imposed after the island nation was rocked with eight blasts targeting churches and hotels that killed over 215 people.

Curfew lifted a day after Sri Lanka was rocked with multiple blasts

A view of St Sebastian’s Church which was damaged in a blast at Negombo, north of Colombo, on Sunday. AP/PTI

rchopra@tribunemail.com

Colombo, April 22

Sri Lanka on Monday lifted the curfew which was indefinitely imposed after the island nation was rocked with eight blasts targeting churches and hotels that killed over 215 people.

The Sri Lankan government on Sunday imposed curfew with immediate effect after the blasts which was lifted at 6 am on Monday, police said.

A string of eight powerful blasts, including suicide attacks, struck churches and luxury hotels frequented by foreigners in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing 215 people, including three Indians, and shattering a decade of peace in the island nation since the end of the brutal civil war with the LTTE.

According to the Sir Lankan authorities, 13 people were arrested in connection with the bomb blasts. However, the government said it would not disclose the details of the suspects involved in the attacks to prevent them from getting publicity.

“Don't give extremists a voice. Don’t help to make them martyrs,” State Minister of Defence, Ruwan Wijewardene, told reporters when asked for details of those in custody.

However, police officials privately said the suspects were all from the minority Muslim community.

Police said the van which had carried explosives to carry out bomb attacks at the three hotels was arrested with its Muslim driver.

A safe house where the bombers had lived for nearly three months leading to the attacks was discovered in the south of Colombo suburb of Panadura. 

The Sri Lanka Air Force said it found an improvised explosives device along a road leading to the departure terminal at the Colombo international airport on Sunday night.

“It was a crude six-foot pipe bomb that was found by the roadside,” an air force spokesman said.

“We have removed it and safely defused it at an air force location,” he added.

Sri Lankan Airlines said there were disruptions to flights and has asked leaving passengers to report to the check-in counters at least four hours prior to departure because of tight security checks at the international airport. PTI

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