"St. Sebastian's Church, Negombo" by Løken / Public Domain

Sri Lanka blames local Islamist extremist group for Easter bombings that killed 290

Apr 22, 2019

By Joanna Slater, Amantha Perera, and Shibani Mahtani

Sri Lanka on Monday accused a local Islamist extremist group, the National Thowheed Jamaath, of being behind a string of Easter bombings at churches and hotels that killed at least 290 people.

Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the group, whose name roughly translates to National Monotheism Organization, perpetrated the attacks using suicide bombers at three churches and three hotels. He added that a foreign network was probably involved.

“We do not believe these attacks were carried out by a group of people who were confined to this country,” Senaratne said. “There was an international network without which these attacks could not have succeeded.”

He called for the police inspector general, Pujith Jayasundara, to resign because security agencies had received a report warning of attacks by this group against churches and hotels weeks before.

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