Sri Lanka attacks: All you need to know

Updated: Apr 22, 2019

Coordinated attacks around the country kill at least 290 people and injure more than 500.


What happened?

 Several coordinated terrorist attacks, up to 8, have been reported across the country.

1. First attack: St Anthony's Church in the capital of Sri Lanka (Colombo)  and St Sebastian's Church in the town of Negombo, just outside the capital.

2. Next attacks: three hotels in the capital - the Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury, along with a third  church in the town of Batticaloa, on the east coast.

Sri Lankan Government had concerns after the defeat of ISIS about returnees from the terrorist group.

Modus operandi?

Suicide bombers were involved at least in two of the attacks around the country, the other attacks remain unclear. The modus operandi suggest the assailants were either experienced or had expert teachers. The pattern follows a nature of jihadist attacks seen in groups like ISIS. Seven suspects have been arrested.

Suicide bombers were involved at least in two of the attacks around the country, the other attacks remain unclear.

Who is behind?

Sri Lanka confirmed that 32 Sri Lankan had joined ISIS and left the country, some of them from educated families.

At the same time, ISIS members in India had connections to Sri Lanka, and the Sri Lankan Government had concerns after the defeat of ISIS about returnees from the terrorist group.

Sri Lanka has suffered from decades of terrorist attacks perpetraded by terrorist groups such as Tamil Tigers, a separatist militant organization fighting for an independent homeland for Sri Lanka's Tamil minority in northern Sri Lanka.


How many injured?

Official sources confirm that 290 people have been killed and at least 600 injured in the blasts. Most of them are locals but there are at least 39 foreigners among the deaths from the UK, the USA, Portugal, the Netherlands, Turkey, and China. At least 6 nations are involved. 28 tourists have been injured.


Why now?

Easter Sunday is a remarkable date for Christians, common terrorist attacks target festivities during the Easter holidays.

There are at least 39 foreigners among the deaths from the UK, the USA, Portugal, the Netherlands, Turkey, and China.

Measures taken after the attacks?

The government has strengthened security in tourist areas as well as in other churches, especially Pakistani churches (one of the minority groups in the country targeted for many years by terrorist groups). Sri Lankan forces have also found 87 detonators at a private terminal of the Central Bus Stand in Colombo on Monday.

The Sri Lankan government has imposed a curfew (from 6 pm to 6 am) and has blocked social media networks (Facebook and Instagram). 



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© 2017 by Talking About Terrorism.