Sri Lanka Holds Mass Funeral for Victims of Easter Bombing

Mass funeral has been held by Sri Lanka as it marks a day of mourning for the victims of Sunday’s bomb blasts, blamed on local Islamist group National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ).

Also, three minutes of silence was observed while a state of emergency remains in place to prevent further attacks.

Under the emergency declaration, police and the military have sweeping powers to detain and interrogate suspects without court orders, as was the case during the country’s civil war.

In the wake of the suicide attacks, Sri Lanka made access to Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram limited.

Fatalities from the attacks on churches and hotels have risen to 321 with about 500 wounded.

40 suspects are in police custody in connection with the attack. A Syrian is among those arrested “after the interrogation of local suspects”, a spokesman said.

On Tuesday, Sri Lanka Defence Minister, Ruwan Wijewardene told parliament that “preliminary investigations” indicated the bombings were in retaliation for deadly attacks on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March, although Wijewardene gave no details.

In addition, the Defence minister linked NTJ to another radical Islamist group named as JMI, but he as well provided no further information.

In 2018, NTJ was in the limelight following damage to Buddhist statues, with the group considered the main suspect; besides this, the Islamist group has not been linked large-scale attacks.

culled from BBC

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