A suicide bomber attended a breakfast buffet at a Sri Lanka hotel before detonating his device amid families gathered for Easter.
In the wake of the terror attack which has left 207 dead, it has emerged Sri Lanka’s police chief reportedly warned of suicide bombers planning to hit “prominent churches” 10 days ago.
According to The Sun, documents show cops were told of possible attacks involving the religious hubs, before worshippers were killed during Easter mass today.
Dozens were also injured and killed in blasts at four hotels in Colombo this morning, as six explosions happened almost at once across the city.
Hours later two more were reported, leaving five more people dead — including three police officers.
Just over a week ago police chief Pujuth Jayasundara reportedly told officers: “A foreign intelligence agency has reported that the NTJ (National Thowheeth Jama’ath) is planning to carry out suicide attacks targeting prominent churches as well as the Indian high commission in Colombo”.
The NTJ is a radical Muslim group in Sri Lanka that was linked last year to the destruction of Buddhist statues.
There has been no immediate claims of responsibility for the attacks in the country, which was at war for decades with Tamil separatists until 2009 — during which bomb blasts in the capital were common.
All of the six explosions this morning — as Christians attended Easter mass — were carried out by suicide bombers, according to initial investigations.
Sri Lanka’s minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene said in a press conference: “We believe that all the culprits who have been involved in this unfortunate terrorist incident will be taken into custody as soon as possible. They have been identified, and they will be taken into custody as soon as possible.”
He later confirmed seven people have been arrested over the string of deadly blasts.
SOURCE: The Sun / news.com.au