Colombo: The deaths’ toll from Sunday’s Terror Attacks rose to 359 today with 39 of the dead confirmed as foreign nationals.
The SP Ruwan Gunasekera Police Media Spokesperson speaking to News 1st; and said that 20 bodies of foreign nationals were identified and have been given over to the relatives.
On Sunday, the multiple suicide bomb attacks targeted the St. Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade, St.Sebastian’s Church in Katuwapitiya and Zion Church in Batticaloa.
The further deaths were the effect of the wounded dying of their injuries. At least 500 people were injured.
The investigations proved the attacks were carried out by nine suicide bombers, along with one woman, officials added. Eight have been identified so far.
Those bombers also targeted three hotels in Colombo, namely The Kingsbury, Cinnamon Grand and Shangri-La. The seventh and eighth suicide bombings took place at a lodge, in Dehiwala and inside a house in Dematagoda.
And the blasts have been demanded by the Islamic State (IS) group, with Sri Lanka‘s government pointing the finger at the little known local Islamist group National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ), but saying the group likely had “international” help.
“Surely the security apparatus is of the view that there are foreign links and some of the evidence points to that,” Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told media on Tuesday night.
“We have been following up on this claim, there were suspicions that there were links with ISIS,” he added, using another name for the IS group.
Rapid, Sri Lankan police carried out fresh raids, detaining 18 more people in their hunt for those involved in the attacks, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera told reporters.
“Basing on information,” we raided three locations and arrested 17 accused,” Gunasekera said. “Another suspect was detained at a fourth location.”
Approximately 60 people have been arrested since the Sunday blasts, which ripped through high end hotels and churches packed with Easter gathering in the capital Colombo and beyond.
The latest captures came after Wickremesinghe said that more Islamist extremists could be on the run and he could not rule out the possibility of further bombings.
“There are a few more people on the run,” Wickremesinghe said. “So we have got to catch them.”
Additionally to arming security forces with powers to arrest suspects for up to three months, the authorities have also imposed a night time curfew since the deadly attacks.