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Sri Lanka: Warnings Were Received Weeks Before Attacks

Death toll hits 290 in church, hotel bombings
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2019 4:42 AM CDT
Sri Lankans gather outside St. Anthony's Shrine a day after the series of blasts, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, April 22, 2019.   (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
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(Newser) – The death toll in the Sri Lanka Easter Sunday bombings jumped to 290 Monday amid rising public anger over reports that intelligence officials had warned of possible attacks. Rajitha Senaratne, the country's health minister, said the chief of national intelligence had warned officials on April 4 about potential attacks and had provided the names of suspects five days later, the Guardian reports. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe "was not informed by these letters and revelations," Senaratne said. Authorities say more than 500 people were injured in six apparently coordinated morning bombings at churches and hotels. There were two more blasts later Sunday, including one that killed two people at a Colombo-area hotel. In other developments:

  • Suicide bombers. A government forensic investigator says analysis of body parts shows that the first six bombings were carried out by seven suicide bombers, with two striking at the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo, the AP reports. At least 13 arrests have been made, authorities say, and three police officers were killed when a suspect apparently trying to avoid arrest at a "safe house" detonated explosives.

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