Sri Lanka church blasts retaliation for New Zealand mosque attack?

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The nationwide emergency in Sri Lanka, effective at midnight, gives police wide powers to carry out searches and interrogate suspects. An unexploded device was also found on the road to the capital's global airport, and 87 detonators were found scattered at the city's main bus depot.

A vehicle believed to have been used by the attackers also exploded as the bomb squad tried to defuse it. Sri Lanka Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne pointed the finger of blame at the National Thowheed Jamath at a press conference in Colombo.

The Soufan Center, a NY based group that monitors global security threats, said the Sri Lanka bombings bore all the "hallmarks" of 'attacks by other Salafi-jihadist groups, particularly those where local groups receive foreign support'.

Explosions at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka killed over 300 people and injured more than 500 on Easter Sunday. Wickremesinghe said, "We must look into why adequate precautions were not taken".

The group has no history of large-scale attacks but came to prominence a year ago when it was blamed for damaging Buddhist statues.

The minister spoke of the Intel notice that was reported out by news agency AFP on Sunday; the agency said that it had seen documents containing a tip-off by the police to top intelligent officials about possible attacks on churches.

Eight people have been arrested in connection with the attacks so far, the government confirmed without revealing their identities.

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"On April 21, former President Barack Obama described the attack on Christians in Sri Lanka as attacks on" Easter worshippers". Two more blasts were reported in the afternoon.

Buchanan said the attack appears to be an attempt to sow sectarian hatred in Sri Lanka, also adding they appear to have been planned prior to the March 15 events.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the Easter Sunday massacre was "truly appalling", and "no-one should ever have to practise their faith in fear".

Spokeswoman Amy Mills urged Canadians in Colombo, the nation's capital, to limit their movements, avoid impacted areas, and take direction from local authorities.

The island nation that once survived a bloody, decades-long civil war against a secessionist ethnic militant group known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has been apparently caught off guard by coordinated attacks, whose orchestrators are yet to be identified.

The Secretary to the President, Udaya R. Senevirathna, said that a National Operations Center had been established to guide the investigations. Even though, following years of conflict, Sri Lanka had strong military and experienced intelligence, it was still apparently unable to adequately assess emerging threats, the analysts believe. "As a government, we have to apologize to the families and the institutions about this incident". There has been no real history of violence between Christians and Muslims, who, across various ethnicities, account for about 7.5 percent and 10 percent of Sri Lanka's population, respectively. A compensation of 1 million Sri Lankan rupees has been announced for families of those who died and 100,000 Sri Lankan rupees will be given for funerals, Senaratne added.

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