Bombings in Sri Lanka Killed Over 200 on Easter Sunday

All was calm on Easter Sunday until a series of gruesome bombings in Sri Lankan churches and hotels killed 207 people.

sri-lanka

It’s not yet clear who is responsible for the eight blasts that caused the entire country of 21 million people to go on lockdown. But Manisha Gunasekera, high commissioner of Sri Lanka to the UK, says that they are “certainly acts of terror.”

Ten days prior, an intelligence memo that warned of a possible attack circulated, which has raised questions about whether this terrible tragedy could have been prevented if better preventative measures were taken.

Churches and hotels were targets

The bomb explosions blew out tiled roofs of churches as well as hotel windows, killing several worshippers and hotel guests. Images of the aftermath show bloodied pews, plumes of smoke and broken glass.

It is estimated that at least a thousand people came to the church because of the Easter occasion.

How the bombings unfolded

The first surge of attacks happened during busy Easter services at churches located in the country’s Christian community. Other blasts hit three different luxury hotels in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo. One hotel reported that their cafe was attacked shortly after 9 a.m.

A final bombing struck a private home in Dematagoda during a raid that is believed to be connected to the attacks. Three police officers were killed by the blast.

A tragic end to a period of peace in Sri Lanka

“This is an attack against the whole of Sri Lanka because Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural country, and the whole country comes together in celebration of Easter Sunday,” Gunasekera said after the bombings.

The deadly blasts has ended a decade of peace in the country that followed the conclusion of its civil war in 2009. Since the time of the war, Sri Lanka has become a popular tourist destination and even won the title of “best place in the world” to visit this year from Lonely Planet, a travel guide publisher.