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Sri Lanka News Alert

Sri Lanka: Authorities lift curfew on April 22 following deadly bombings /update 9

Authorities lift curfew on April 22 following eight bombings on April 22 that killed 290 and wounded around 500 others; heightened security measures and significant delays at airports expected

22 Apr 05:43 AM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 4/21/2019, 12:00 AM until 4/24/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Colombo). COUNTRY/REGION Sri Lanka, Colombo, Negombo, Batticaloa, Bandaranaike International Airport
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Event

Authorities lifted a nationwide curfew on Monday, April 22, that was enacted following a series of coordinated bombings targeting churches and hotels on Sunday, April 21, that killed at least 290 people and wounded around 500 others. Access to major social media and messaging platforms remains suspended as of 10:00 (local time) on Monday and heightened security measures, including the deployment of armed security personnel, are in effect. Flights are operating, though significant delays were reported at the airport as increased security measures were enacted at Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB). Heightened security measures, including telecommunication restrictions and deployment of security personnel, are expected in the near term.

Authorities reportedly arrested 13 people in connection with the attacks, though the government has not officially attributed blame nor has any group claimed responsibility. Reprisal sectarian attacks cannot be ruled out in the coming days and weeks.

Context

A series of coordinated bombings beginning at approximately 08:45 struck Sri Lanka on Sunday morning. In Colombo, devices detonated at St. Anthony's Shrine, the Shangri La Hotel, Cinnamon Grand Hotel, and the Kingsbury Hotel. St. Sebastian's Church in Negombo and the Zion Church in Batticaloa were also targeted in the attacks, as well as the Tropic Inn in Dehiwala. Churches were particularly full on Sunday morning as Christians gathered to celebrate the Easter holiday. An explosion during a raid on a private residence in Colombo also killed three police officers on Sunday.

Advice

Individuals in Sri Lanka, particularly the abovementioned areas, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, anticipate heightened security measures and limited telecommunication access, avoid all blast areas as a precaution, report any suspicious behavior or objects to the police, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.

Travelers flying to or from CMB are advised to anticipate a heightened security presence, anticipate possible delays, and allow additional time to pass through security checkpoints.

 

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