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After Sri Lanka Attacks, Islamist Group Blamed And Victims Named

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Sri Lankan security personnel inspect the debris of a van after it explodes on Monday near St. Anthony's Shrine in Colombo. Nearly 300 people died and more than 500 others were wounded after Sunday's attacks on churches and hotels.

The Sri Lankan government has blamed the National Thowfeek Jamaath, a little known Muslim militant group, for the coordinated attacks on churches and hotels that rocked the island nation on Easter Sunday.

Sri Lanka Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne says the small group was aided by an international network.

"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."

The radical Islamist group has been linked to the vandalism in recent years of Buddhist statues, and has earned a reputation for being against Buddhism, the country's main religion.


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Guest Indiana

Sri Lanka Was Warned of Possible Attacks. Why Didn’t It Stop Them?

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — The confidential security memo laid it all out: names, addresses, phone numbers, even the times in the middle of the night that one suspect would visit his wife.

In the days leading up to the devastating suicide bombings that killed nearly 300 people in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, the country’s security agencies had been closely watching a secretive cell of the National Thowheeth Jama’ath, a little-known radical Islamist organization that security officials in Sri Lanka now say carried out the attacks and may have received help from abroad.

They knew the group was dangerous. They had collected intelligence on the whereabouts of its leaders in the April 11 security memo, which warned of Catholic church bombings. They had been warned even earlier by India that the group, also known by the spelling National Thowheed Jama’ath, was plotting church attacks. They knew as far back as January that radical Islamists possibly tied to the group had stockpiled weapons and detonators.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/22/world/asia/ntj-warning-sri-lanka-government.html

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Guest Indiana

Nearly 300 People Are Dead After Multiple Explosions In Sri Lanka On Easter Sunday


A series of explosions in Sri Lanka ripped through churches and hotels on Easter Sunday, killing at least 290 people and injuring more than 500 others on one of the holiest days in the Christian calendar.

At least 27 of those who died were foreigners and three were police officers, authorities said. Local police confirmed the death toll to multiple media outlets.

Three churches across the island nation and three hotels near the capital, Colombo, were hit with nearly simultaneous blasts, the AP reported. Then, hours later, two more explosions went off: at a guesthouse and on the outskirts of Colombo.

Photos from the blast sites showed broken pews in disarray, shattered glass, and statues flecked with ash and blood.

Read more: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/janelytvynenko/sri-lanka-explosions-easter

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