Sri Lanka’s Military Officials Claim To Have Identified Those Responsible For Explosions

military officials in sri lanka after a number of explosions hit the countryPA

In the wake of at least eight explosions, Sri Lanka’s minister of defence has announced investigators have identified those believed to be responsible.

Speaking at a press conference, the Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene described the explosions as a ‘terrorist’ incident, suggesting they are the work of religious extremists.

He said, via The Guardian:

We have taken all the necessary precautions to keep this country safe and the people safe. We believe that all the culprits who have been involved in this unfortunate terrorist incident, will be taken into custody as soon as possible. They have been identified, and they will be taken into custody as soon as possible.

So far, at least 156 people have been killed, with hundreds more reportedly injured.

The Sri Lankan government has imposed a curfew, which was supposed to begin at 6pm this evening, April 21, but has now been put into immediate effect, ending at 6am April 22 (local time), in the wake of at least eight explosions that have hit the country.

The government has also shutdown access to social media and messaging services for the time being.

The UK foreign office has issued advice for British citizens in Sri Lanka at this time, saying:

If you are in Sri Lanka, please follow the advice of local security authorities, hotel security staff or your tour company. You should avoid large gatherings.

If you are in Sri Lanka and you are safe, we advise that you contact family and friends to let them know that you are safe.

The Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe, tweeted the following statement:

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.

Security officials, including heads of the army, navy and air force, are holding emergency meetings regarding the situation in the country.

It is believed a number of British tourists have been caught up in the explosions. The high commission in London has set up an emergency hotline – on 07917382486 – for people to contact if they are concerned for family and friends in Sri Lanka.

Our thoughts are with those affected at this difficult time.

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