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The Sri Lankan authorities have declared the island is in a state of emergency and say today will be a national day of mourning.
The country’s government says a small radical Islamist group is responsible for yesterday’s tragedies. The group allegedly had help from a larger international terrorist organization. The Easter Sunday suicide bombings killed close to 300 people and injured more than 500.
Sri Lanka’s government admitted that they failed to act after several warnings were issued at least 10 days before the attack took place. The bombings were a coordinated series of attacks on Christians that struck churches and hotels early yesterday morning.
A spokesman, Rajitha Senaratne issued an apology on behalf of the government saying, “We saw the warnings and we saw the details given. We are very very sorry, as a government we have to say — we have to apologize to the families and the institutions about this incident.” Top government officials say the warning never reached them.
The Sri Lankan says that at least 39 foreigners are among the dead including four Americans. Other countries that have confirmed their citizens were killed are Australia, Britain, China, Japan, and Portugal.
A US official who is directly familiar with the US initial intelligence assessment spoke out saying that the group responsible for the attacks was inspired by ISIS. At this time, no terrorist groups have claimed responsibility. Sri Lankan police have arrested 24 people in connection with the attacks.
CNN was live in Colombo, Sri Lanka:
The death toll has soared in Sri Lanka. Nearly 300 people killed, about 500 injured in coordinated bombings at churches and hotels on Easter Sunday. @IvanCNN is live from Colombo, Sri Lanka with the latest: https://t.co/IOhEzeQ5lX pic.twitter.com/qmfFVgzxkh
— CNN (@CNN) April 22, 2019