UPDATE (April 24, 2019 4.36pm CST): While it was initially reported that two Chinese nationals had been killed in the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka on April 21, the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka has confirmed only one Chinese person is dead, as of press time, following the senseless attacks.
A total of seven Chinese nationals are either dead or injured after a series of bombings took place in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, April 21. As of press time, two Chinese nationals have been confirmed dead while five others are injured, according to People’s Daily. The total death toll from these disturbing attacks has risen to 290, about 30 of whom were foreigners, while more than 500 people were injured, according to the Guardian.
Eight bombings occurred in churches and hotels located in different cities on the island nation, including capital city Colombo, Negombo, a city on the west coast of the country and Batticaloa on the east coast, Sri Lankan police said. So far, 24 suspects have been apprehended by police.
At 8.45am on April 21, Sri Lanka Standard Time, a blast occurred at St. Anthony’s Shrine, a Roman Catholic church in Colombo, where an Easter Sunday mass was being held. In the following hours, two more Catholic churches and three upscale hotels were also struck by bombings.
Most of the explosions that occurred were caused by suicide bombers, however, no organizations have claimed responsibility for the bombings, the Sri Lanka government said.
Suicide bombings prevailed during the Sri Lankan civil war, which lasted from 1983 to 2009 and pitted the Sinhalese majority against the minority Tamils, according to the New York Times. Suicide bombing is a signature tactic of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, aka the Tamil Tigers.
On April 21, Chinese President Xi Jingping called Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena to express his condolences, saying “The Chinese government and the Chinese people are firmly standing with the Sri Lankan people and firmly support the Sri Lankan side in safeguarding national security and stability.”
[Cover image via The Paper]