The government of Sri Lanka announced a new curfew to be implemented nationwide from 20:00 (local time) on Monday, April 22, to 04:00 on Tuesday, April 23, as the country reacts to a series of deadly bombings on Sunday, April 21, that killed at least 290 people and left another 500 wounded. Access to major social media and messaging platforms remains suspended following a ban on Sunday. Heightened security measures are expected, including deployment of armed security forces, checkpoints, and increased screening measures at airports. Flights are reportedly operating, though significant delays are likely at Colombo's Bandarnaike International Airport (CMB). SriLankan Airlines has reported that access to the airport is still possible during curfew hours, though flight tickets and passports will be required at police checkpoints. Continued heightened security measures, including telecommunication restrictions and additional curfews, are likely in the coming days. Associated transportation and commercial disruptions are expected.
Authorities reportedly arrested 24 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.
A series of coordinated bombings beginning at approximately 08:45 struck Sri Lanka on Sunday morning, killing at least 290 people, including 32 foreign nationals, and wounding another 500 people. 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.
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 (e.g. checkpoints, curfews, etc.) 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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