UPDATE: Sri Lanka: Death Toll Nears 300 After Easter Terror Attacks

SRI LANKA- At least nine bombs tore through churches and hotels in three Sri Lankan cities on Easter Sunday. The death toll had risen to at least 290, with more than 500 others wounded, by Monday morning.

Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardene described the coordinated blasts as a terrorist attack by religious extremists, but no group had claimed responsibility more than 24 hours after the attack.

At 8:45 a.m. on Sunday, bombs tore apart three churches, one in the capital of Colombo, and two others in the cities of Negombo and Batticaloa.

Four hotels in Colombo were also attacked: the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand, the Tropical Inn and the Kingsbury. There was another explosion at a housing complex in Dematagoda.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said “several U.S. citizens” were among those killed.
Sri Lankan police said 24 suspects had been apprehended and that the attacks appear to have been carried out by suicide bombers.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack, but officials say a local group, working with support from an “international network,” is suspected.

Officials have suggested that there was some advance knowledge of a terror plot in Sri Lanka, and that intelligence may have been “ignored.”

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