Death toll in Sri Lanka blasts rises to 310, 40 suspects arrested

Screengrab: ANI

Colombo: At least 310 people have lost their lives in the multiple bomb blasts that rocked Sri Lanka during Easter celebrations, police said on Tuesday.

Sri Lankan police media spokesperson SP Ruwan Gunasekara told CNN that 40 people have been arrested in connection with the attacks. The suspects have been sent to custody and all of them are Sri Lankan nationals.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena will meet foreign envoys and high commissioners and will brief them on the bombings and seek international assistance, according to the country’s defence ministry.

“The intelligence agencies have reported that there were international organisations behind these acts of local terrorists. Hence, it has been decided to seek international assistance for investigations,” a statement from the ministry said.

As Sri Lanka marked national mourning today, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the entire nation mourned the “senseless loss of innocent lives” lost in the multiple blasts.

“I would like to thank the military and police forces, the medical personnel and all those who have worked bravely and tirelessly without concern for their own safety, to ensure the safety and security of our citizens. It is imperative that we remain unified as Sri Lankans in the face of this unspeakable tragedy,” Wickremesinghe wrote on his Twitter handle.

In the aftermath of the bombings, Sri Lanka is in a state of emergency. All schools across the country have been shut till Wednesday, while the authorities are continuing their search and rescue operations.

On April 21, eight explosions rattled various suburbs in the Sri Lankan cities of Colombo, Negombo, Kochchikade and Batticaloa as the Christian community celebrated Easter Sunday. Out of the deceased, around 31 people have been identified as foreigners.

Among those, eight Indians have been identified dead in the bombings.

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