Sri Lanka

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Country Hires 2 Hangmen, Says Executions Will Happen

Sri Lanka last put a man to death in 1976

(Newser) - Sri Lankan prison authorities have recruited two hangmen ahead of planned executions that would end a 43-year-old moratorium on the death penalty, an official said Monday. The recruitment of the two hangmen comes as prison authorities are preparing to carry out an order by Sri Lanka president Maithripala Sirisena, who... More »

After Easter Bombings, a Gruesome Retaliation

Mobs attack Muslim homes, shops, mosques and hack a man to death

(Newser) - A Sri Lankan Cabinet minister says a Muslim man was killed and dozens of shops and mosques were destroyed in communal violence in apparent retaliation for the Easter Sunday bombings that killed more than 250 people. Rauff Hakeem, leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, says that the man was... More »

Sri Lanka Bans Face Coverings, Including Veils

Law bans garments that 'hinder identification'

(Newser) - Muslim women in Sri Lanka will no longer be able to veil their faces under an emergency law ordered by President Maithripala Sirisena that bans all kinds of face coverings that may conceal people's identities. The law takes effect Monday, eight days after the Easter bombings of churches and... More »

A Week After Attacks, a 'Gruesome Scene' in Sri Lanka

At least 16 dead after police raid in Sainthamaruthu

(Newser) - Not even a week after the Easter weekend attacks in Sri Lanka, a "gruesome scene" unfolded after a police raid that resulted in at least 16 dead. Per CNN , the raid and subsequent shootout between Sri Lankan security forces and suspected militants took place Friday in Sainthamaruthu, on the... More »

Sri Lanka President: 'I Will Stamp Out ISIS'

Authorities say ringleader died in hotel bombing

(Newser) - The alleged ringleader of the group of Islamic extremists behind the Sri Lanka Easter Sunday bombings blew himself up in the attack, authorities say, though they fear other militants still at large could carry out more attacks. President Maithripala Sirisena said Friday that radical preacher Zahran Hashim was one of... More »

Sri Lankan Official: the 'Worrying Factor' About Suspects

Defense minister says it appears many bombing suspects lived, studied abroad

(Newser) - The Islamic State has claimed credit for helping suicide bombers pull off the Easter weekend attacks in Sri Lanka, and the nation's defense minister is now citing a "worrying factor" about them. "Most of them are well-educated and come from middle- or upper-middle class [families], so they... More »

ISIS Names 7 Suicide Bombers in 'Infidel Holiday' Attack

Islamic State claims responsibility for Sri Lanka bombings

(Newser) - Authorities in Sri Lanka have implicated a small extremist group called National Thowfeek Jamaath for the Easter weekend bombings . But how could a small group pull off a coordinated attack of such sophistication? The answer might have arrived via the Islamic State's Amaq news agency, reports the New York ... More »

Official: Easter Bombings Were 'Revenge for Christchurch'

American 5th-grader was among Sri Lanka victims

(Newser) - The father of 11-year-old Kieran Shafritz de Zoysa says his "articulate and insightful and kind" son was one of the Americans killed in the Sri Lanka Easter Sunday bombings. The fifth-grader was staying with his mother in Sri Lanka during a leave of absence from the prestigious Sidwell Friends... More »

Danish Billionaire Loses 3 Kids in Sri Lanka Attacks

Anders Holch Povlsen is Denmark's wealthiest man

(Newser) - A Danish billionaire lost three of his four children in the Sri Lanka terror attacks. The family of Anders Holch Povlsen, a fashion tycoon and Denmark's wealthiest man, was visiting the country over the Easter holiday, a spokesperson tells the BBC . Povlsen, who has a net worth of $7.... More »

An American on Work Trip Among the Dead in Sri Lanka

Dieter Kowalski, 40, was a Denver resident who was born in Milwaukee

(Newser) - We knew that Americans were among the victims of the terror attacks in Sri Lanka , and now we have the first name: Dieter Kowalski, a 40-year-old Denver resident. Kowalski worked in tech for Pearson, described as an educational publishing and assessment company, and he had just arrived in Sri Lanka... More »

Sri Lanka: Warnings Were Received Weeks Before Attacks

Death toll hits 290 in church, hotel bombings

(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... More »

Sri Lanka Blocks Social Media to 'Ease Tensions'

Move could backfire, analysts say

(Newser) - Sri Lankan authorities blocked most social media after Easter Sunday attacks killed more than 200 people , with officials saying the temporary move was meant to curtail the spread of false information and ease tensions. The NetBlocks observatory says it detected an intentional blackout of popular services including Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp,... More »

Easter Attacks: At Least 207 Dead, 7 Arrested

Sri Lanka has imposed a curfew, shut down social media

(Newser) - At least eight bombs exploded in Sri Lanka , as Christians gathered to celebrate Easter on Sunday. The attacks targeted three churches and four five-star hotels frequented by tourists, as well as one blast on a highway overpass, reports the New York Times , and the death toll has now risen to... More »

With Easter Bloodied, Pope Decries 'Cruel Violence'

Sri Lanka attacks hang heavy over Mass at St. Peter's

(Newser) - Pope Francis denounced the "cruel violence" of the Easter Sunday slaughter of Christians and foreigners in Sri Lanka as he celebrated the most joyful moment on the Christian liturgical calendar by lamenting bloodshed and political violence. Francis skipped his homily during Easter Mass but delivered his traditional "Urbi... More »

More Than 130 Killed in Church, Hotel Attacks

Hundreds hurt in Sri Lanka blasts

(Newser) - At least 138 people were killed and nearly 500 hospitalized from injuries in near simultaneous blasts that rocked three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, the state-run Daily News reports. A security official tells the AP that two of the blasts are suspected to have been... More »

In a 'Chaotic' Grave, Remains of 232

Bones possibly linked to Sri Lanka's civil war to be tested in Florida

(Newser) - Forensic experts in Sri Lanka have been handed the awful task of tracing more than 230 bodies in the country's largest known mass grave. Uncovered in Mannar in March by workers digging a foundation for a building, the grave had produced 90 skeletons by August, though that number has... More »

Flier Hid $30K in Gold in His Butt

Sri Lankan man claimed he was involved in smuggling ring

(Newser) - A Sri Lankan man's "suspicious movements" at the airport in the capital Colombo led to the discovery of some $30,000 worth of gold stashed in his rectum, customs officials say. Officials noticed the 45-year-old "walking with difficulty and appearing to be in pain" as he waited... More »

Crocodile Kills British Journalist

Paul McClean was reportedly washing his hands in a Sri Lankan river

(Newser) - A British journalist was fatally attacked by a crocodile while vacationing with friends in Sri Lanka. Financial Times journalist and Oxford graduate Paul McClean, 24, was washing his hands in a river near a popular surfing spot when a crocodile attacked, dragging him from shore, witnesses say. Fishermen rushed to... More »

'Miraculous': Elephant Rescued 10 Miles From Shore

Animal likely got caught in current, says Sri Lanka's Navy

(Newser) - An elephant washed out to sea has made "a miraculous escape" with help from Sri Lanka's Navy. The elephant, believed to have been caught in a current while crossing a stretch of water separating two areas of jungle near the town of Kokkilai, was spotted trying to keep... More »

Sri Lanka Mudslides: 151 Dead, 102K Displaced

More rain is forecast in battered, soaked nation

(Newser) - Sri Lankan rescuers on Sunday pulled out more bodies that were buried by enormous mudslides as the death toll in the disaster climbed to 151, with 111 others missing, reports the AP. Although the weather has cleared, more rains are forecast for Monday, threatening to bring further misery to over... More »

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