Heightened security measures continue to be implemented throughout the country as of Thursday, April 25, following the Easter bombings on Sunday, April 21. The road to Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) north of Colombo was temporarily shut down on Thursday, resulting in significant delays. Police officers are also reportedly erecting checkpoints in Colombo and conducting vehicle and identification searches. Drones and other unmanned aircraft were banned by civil aviation authorities on Thursday and Catholic church services were suspended, according to a senior Sri Lankan priest.
The government declared a state of emergency on Monday, April 22, in response to the bombings, allowing police to detain people and conduct searches and seizures. Social media and messaging platforms remain blocked and curfews have been implemented nightly since the attacks. Further such security measures and associated disruptions, particularly increased congestion and delays on the airport road, are expected in the coming days.
A series of coordinated bombings struck Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday (April 21), killing at least 359 people, including 39 foreign nationals, and wounding approximately 500 others. Churches and prominent hotels in Colombo, Negombo, and Batticaloa were targeted in the attacks. Authorities blamed a local Islamist group, National Thowheeth Jama'ath, for the attacks, claiming that the group planned the bombings with assistance from an international terrorist organization. The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack via its media arm on Tuesday, April 23.
Individuals in Sri Lanka, particularly Colombo, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, anticipate heightened security measures and limited telecommunications access, report suspicious behavior and objects to the police, carry identification and adhere to instructions issued by 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, delays, and allow at least four hours to pass through security checkpoints.
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