Sri Lanka: Local Militants Carried Out Attacks

AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena

(AP)–Update:  A van parked near a Sri Lankan church that was bombed on Easter Sunday has exploded, but no injuries have been reported.

Police went to inspect the van Monday after people reported it had been parked near St. Anthony’s Shrine since Sunday.

They discovered three bombs that they tried to defuse. Instead, the bombs detonated, sending pedestrians fleeing in panic.

A series of bombings Sunday killed at least 290 people, including at least 27 foreigners. About 500 others were wounded in the blasts.

Officials said 24 suspects are in custody for questioning.

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(AP) – A Sri Lankan government official says a local militant group named National Thowfeek Jamaath is responsible for the Easter Sunday suicide bombings.

Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said at a news conference Monday that all seven bombers linked to the near-simultaneous attacks on three churches and three luxury hotels in and around Colombo were Sri Lankan citizens.
Officials say the causes of three later bombings on Sunday are still being investigated.

He said that while the group is domestic, foreign links are suspected.

A total of nine bombings Sunday killed at least 290 people including at least 27 foreigners. About 500 others were wounded in the blasts.

Officials said 24 suspects are in custody for questioning.

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