Sri Lanka tightens security over 2nd anniversary of Easter bombings

A Muslim woman wearing a hijab walks through a street near St Anthony's Shrine, days after a string of suicide bomb attacks across the island on Easter Sunday, in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan police on Monday said security has been beefed up in all churches across the island nation ahead of the the second anniversary of the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings, which killed over 250 people and injured at least 500 others.

Police spokesperson DIG Ajith Rohana said authorities were informed that various religious masses, activities, and events were being planned to commemorate the victims , and as a result additional security personnel have been deployed in all churches islandwide, reports Xinhua news agency.

“The Police Headquarters has issued a special message to the officers-in-charge (OICs) of police stations and senior officers of territorial divisions including Senior DIGs, DIGs, SSPs and SPs to monitor the situation,” Rohana said.

“We have informed all stations to provide maximum security in respect of events,” he added.

The Easter terror attack by suicide bombers in April 2019 was one of the worst violent incidents recorded in Sri Lanka’s history.

Sri Lankan authorities have said probe into the blasts is still continuing and that they have identified and taken into custody masterminds behind the violence.

On April 21, 2019, three churches in Negombo, Batticaloa and Colombo and the hotels — Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand, Kingsbury and Tropical Inn — in the capital city were targeted in the series of coordinated suicide bombings.

Sri Lankan authorities attributed the attacks to little-known local Islamist extremist groups, National Thowheeth Jama’ath and Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim.

However, the Islamic State terror group claimed the attacks.

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