Indian Coast Guard on high alert at maritime boundary with Sri Lanka

Multiple explosions in Colombo churches 5-star hotels Sri Lankan media

Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and other top officials say that they were never informed about the warnings, leading to an investigation as to why communications concerning the possible attacks failed to reach them.

However, the USA president deleted the post minutes after it went viral.

Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardena, who described the blasts as a terrorist attack by religious extremists, told reporters Sunday evening that seven suspects had been arrested, though no one immediately claimed responsibility for the blasts.

Authorities said 24 people have been arrested and that they were hunting for links between the group and foreign backers.

But the scale of Sunday's bloodshed recalled the worst days of the war, when the Tigers and other rebels set off explosions at Sri Lanka's Central Bank in downtown Colombo, a busy shopping mall, an important Buddhist temple and tourist hotels.

Police did not release a breakdown of how many people were killed and wounded at each location. Blasts also rocked the Shangri-La, Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand hotels in the country's capital.

Police said 87 bomb detonators were found at the city's main bus station, while an explosive went off near a church where scores were killed on Sunday when bomb squad officials were trying to defuse it.

The explosions at three churches and three hotels - majority in or around Colombo, the capital - collapsed ceilings and blew out windows, killing worshippers and hotel guests in one scene after another of smoke, soot, blood, broken glass, screams and wailing alarms.

The Sri Lankan government lifted a curfew that had been imposed during the night.

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Scotland Yard warned protesters the force has "strong plans" in place with a significant number of officers ready to respond. In a statement , the group said: "There is a deep remorse for those whose holiday and family plans will be disrupted".

Fifth-grader Kieran Shafritz de Zoysa, spending a year in Sri Lanka on leave from the private Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., was among those killed, the school said in an email to parents, according to the Washington Post.

The block on social media including Facebook and its WhatsApp and Instagram services was announced by the government's official news portal, which cited the spread of "false news reports" online. "This is only a temporary measure" Udaya R Seneviratne, secretary to the president said in a statement.

A British husband has paid tribute to his "wonderful" wife and their two "amazing" children who were among the 290 victims of a wave of bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. Ships and maritime surveillance aircraft Dornier have reportedly been deployed with the primary objective of ensuring that the suicide bombers responsible for the explosions are unable to escape from Sri Lanka.

"While many details of the attacks are still emerging, we can confirm that several U.S. citizens were among those killed", he said in a statement.

Earlier, Ariyananda Welianga, a government forensic crime investigator, said an analysis of the attackers' body parts made clear that they were suicide bombers.

"I personally have gone and handed over all the documents three years ago, giving names and details of all these people", Ahamed said. There were also Chinese and Dutch among the dead, according to media reports.

Dassanayake, a deputy inspector general of police, identified at least five members of the group by name, including its alleged leader.

Sri Lanka is a predominantly Buddhist nation but is also home to significant Hindu, Muslim, and Christian communities.

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