By Katie T.
On Easter Sunday, April 21, three churches in Sri Lanka were brutally bombed by a group of Muslims, killing over 359 Christians.
The bombings took place on both sides of the country and were carried out by a single group. According to the New York Times, it was “the largest attack on South Asian Christians in recent memory,” and left hundreds of people mourning on the most important Christian Holiday of the Year.
St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo, St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, and Zion Church in Batticaloa were the targets for the coordinated attack. The Cinnamon Grand, the Shrangi-La, and the Kingsbury are three popular luxury tourist hotels in Colombo that were also bombed on the holiday.
There have been reports that Indian intelligence officers informed Sri Lanka about a series of warnings, one on April 4 and an intelligence memo on April 11. Although the Indian officers warned the Sri Lankans hours before the first bomb exploded at 8:45 a.m., they failed to act. Their poor judgment later cost hundreds of people their lives, including 45 children and 35 foreigners. Over 500 others were injured.
In the aftermath of the attacks, Hermasiri Fernando, Sri Lanka’s Secretary of Defense, has resigned. Sri Lanka’s government had apologized publicly for failing to act on the Indian Intelligence officers warnings, though it is truly too little too late.
According to BBC news, “most of the attackers were ‘well-educated’ and ‘middle-class.’” One woman and seven men have been identified as bombers.
The police have taken 60 people into custody that were connected to the attacks. Ilham Ahmed Ibraham has now been identified as the bomber of the Cinnamon Grand Hotel and was previously arrested and released. Imsath, one of his brothers, had blown himself up in the coordinated attack. According to CNN, Mohamed Yusef Ibraham, their father, had been detained for possibly abetting his sons along with several other family members.
In conclusion, these coordinated terrorist attacks were despicable and have cost hundreds of lives. The question is, where and when will they strike next?