The terrorist who bombed a hotel on Easter Sunday, reportedly stood at the hotel buffet before he unleashed his terror.
Details are emerging on the full story behind the church bombings that have now left over 200 dead.
- At least 207 people have been killed and 450 more injured in a series of explosions targeting churches holding Easter services and hotels in Sri Lanka.
- Most of the dead are believed to have been Sri Lankans, but officials say about 30 people from other countries have lost their lives. Three UK nationals and two US-UK dual nationals were among the dead. One Dutch, one Chinese, one Portuguese and two Turkish nationals have been killed, their respective foreign ministries have confirmed.
- No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks but Sri Lanka’s defence minister, Ruwan Wijewardene, said the culprits had been identified and were religious extremists. He said suicide bombers were responsible for the majority of the morning’s bombings and that the wave of attacks was the work of a single group.
- Eight people have been reported to have been arrested so far.
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At least three Americans were killed in the Easter Sunday terror attack in Sri Lanka.
The New York Times reported that as Christians in Sri Lanka gathered on Sunday morning to celebrate Easter Mass, the culmination of Holy Week, powerful explosions ripped through three churches packed with worshipers, leaving hundreds of victims amid a havoc of splintered and blood-spattered pews.
In what the police said were coordinated terrorist attacks carried out by a single group, bombers also struck three hotels popular with tourists. At least 207 people were killed and 450 others injured, a police spokesman, Ruwan Gunasekera, said.
News of the bombings, the largest attack on South Asian Christians in recent memory, rippled out all Easter morning, interrupting celebrations across the world. Pope Francis, after celebrating Mass in St. Peter’s Square, said the attacks had “brought mourning and sorrow” on the most important of Christian holidays.
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The death toll has risen to more than 200 innocent men, women, and children slaughtered on Easter Sunday by terrorists as they enjoyed celebrating the holiest day of the Christian calendar as well as spending time in luxury hotels while on vacation. This number includes at least 3 dead Americans.
The Washington Post reports “Three people have been arrested and four are being questioned, police said. Three police officers were killed in a raid on a house in Colombo.
Blasts ripped through churches in the cities of Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa at approximately 8:45 a.m. as worshipers were gathering for services. Explosions also struck four hotels in Colombo, the nation’s capital, police said. An eighth blast occurred under a flyover within the city. All of the explosions occurred between 8:45 and 9:30 a.m.”
Per Breitbart, the suicide bomber waited patiently in a queue for the Easter Sunday breakfast buffet at Sri Lanka’s Cinnamon Grand hotel before setting off explosives strapped to his back.
Carrying a plate, the man, who had registered at the hotel the night before as Mohamed Azzam Mohamed, was just about to be served when he set off his devastating strike in the packed restaurant, a manager at the Sri Lankan hotel said.
“There was utter chaos,” said the manager, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity as he is not allowed to speak for the company.
The Taprobane restaurant at the hotel was having one of its busiest days of the year for the Easter holiday weekend.
“It was 8:30 am and it was busy. It was families,” the manager told AFP.
“He came up to the top of the queue and set off the blast,” he added.
“One of our managers who was welcoming guests was among those killed instantly.”
The bomber also died. Parts of his body were found intact by police and taken away.
Other hotel officials told how the bomber, a Sri Lankan, checked in giving an address that turned out to be false, saying he was in the city for business.
Two other hotels, the Shangri-La and the Kingsbury, were hit at about the same time, along with three churches packed with worshippers attending Easter Sunday services.
The blast at St Anthony’s Shrine, an historic Catholic Church, was so powerful that it blew out much of the roof, leaving roof tiles, glass and splintered wood littering the floor that was strewn with bodies.
Authorities have not said who staged the attacks. But all suffered major casualties and damage. Many of the 35 foreigners killed in the blasts were at the hotels, officials said.