Three churches and three high-end hotels were hit by bomb attacks on Sunday, killing at least 42 and wounding hundreds of others.
The first explosions were reported at St Anthony’s Church in the capital city, Colombo, and St. Sebastian’s Church at Katuwapitiya in the town of Negombo. These were followed by explosions at the Shangri-la hotel in Kingsbury, Colombo. Two more hotels luxury in Colombo were attacked s was a church in the town of Batticaloa. At least 300 people were admitted to the hospital in the wake of the Batticaloa blast and at least 24 were killed. It is believed that the attackers died in at least two of the attacks.
The churches were full of worshippers observing the Christian holy day of Easter. Sri Lanka is 70 percent Buddhist, 13 percent Hindu, 9.7 percent Sunni Muslim, 6.1 percent Roman Catholic, and 1.3 percent are Protestant.
Multiple blasts reported in Sri Lanka including at churches as people attended Easter services. pic.twitter.com/KYArRCUHAT
— Sumisha Naidu (@sumishanaidu) April 21, 2019
Formerly known as Ceylon, Sri Lanka is an island country in South Asia, located in the Indian Ocean. In 2009, the Sri Lankan military defeated the Hindu Tamil Tigers, ending a 26-year military campaign. An estimated 80,000–100,000 people killed during its course. Since the Sri Lankan civil war ended, an increasing religious divide has grown with a rise of militant Buddhist groups targeting Muslims. Christianity is seen as a unifying force because it includes people from both the Tamil and majority Sinhalese ethnic groups.