Sri Lankan Government Name National Thowheed Jamath Responsible For Easter Bombings

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PA

The Sri Lankan government has named local jihadi terror group National Thowheed Jamath as the organisation responsible for the Easter terror attacks.

So far, the death toll of the attacks which took place on Easter Sunday (April 21) across numerous churches and hotels stands at 290.

A series of bomb attacks targeted three churches in Kochchikade, Negombo and Batticaloa, while the Shangri La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury hotels in Colombo were also hit.

Two further explosions were then reported – one near the zoo in Dehiwala and an eighth near the Colombo district of Dematagoda during a police raid.

As reported by BBC News, 24 people have so far been arrested in relation to the attacks, which were the deadliest violence Sri Lanka has witnessed since the end of the country’s civil war in 2009.

And now it’s been reported that Jihadi terror group National Thowheed Jamath are responsible, with Bloomberg reporting the Sri Lanka Health Minister, Rajitha Senaratne, blamed the National Thowheed Jamath at a press conference in Colombo.

The government reportedly confirmed seven suicide bombers carried out the attacks in and around the capital of Colombo as people celebrated Easter Sunday.

Previously, BBC News reporter Azzam Ameen said on Twitter it was thought the attackers are part of ‘a radical extremist Islamist group,’ as per authorities.

As per the BBC, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe confirmed on Sunday (April 21) security services had been ‘aware of information’ of possible attacks but that the information had not been acted upon.

The prime minister urged his country to remain ‘united and strong’ in a Twitter post shortly after the attacks took place.

He wrote:

I strongly condemn the cowardly attacks on our people today. I call upon all Sri Lankans during this tragic time to remain united and strong. Please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation. The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation.

In the wake of the attacks, the government have imposed a curfew on all residents with immediate effect. They have also restricted access to social media and messaging services.

The social media blackout is set to continue for as long as necessary while security forces continue their investigations. The president’s office has said this is because of misinformation being spread.

For those in the UK worried about friends and relatives in Sri Lanka, a hotline has been set up by the high commission in London, which you can call on 07917 382486.


Lucy Connolly

Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).