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Sri Lanka News Alert

Sri Lanka: New curfews imposed in Sri Lanka April 28 /update 18

Sri Lanka to reimpose curfew at 16:00 on April 28 for eastern cities; nationwide curfew and other security measures likely

28 Apr 08:33 AM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 4/28/2019, 12:00 AM until 5/4/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Colombo). COUNTRY/REGION Sri Lanka, Colombo, Bandaranaike International Airport, Ampara district
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Event

Sri Lankan police officials announced that a curfew would resume for some eastern cities at 17:00 (local time) on Sunday, April 28. The curfew was lifted at 10:00 on Sunday morning for the cities of Kalmunai, Sammanthurai, and Chawalakade in Ampara district (Eastern province). It is not confirmed what time the curfew will be lifted. A nationwide curfew is likely to be enforced on Sunday night. Sri Lanka has imposed nightly curfews across the island, typically ranging from 22:00 to 04:00.

Other security measures remain in place nationwide. Access to popular social media platforms and messaging services remain blocked and Catholic and Muslim religious leaders have suspended public services due to fears of further violence. At least 10,000 soldiers have been deployed to conduct security operations and guard places of worship and access to popular social media and messaging platforms remains blocked. The US Embassy in Colombo warned citizens to reconsider travel to Sri Lanka and avoid places of worship and large crowds through at least Sunday, April 28, as a precaution. Further security measures and associated disruptions, including checkpoints, road closures, and security operations, are expected in the coming days throughout the country, including at Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB).

Context

A series of coordinated bombings struck Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday (April 21), killing at least 253 people, including 40 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) later claimed responsibility for the attack via its media arm on April 23. The UK government advised against all but essential travel to the country as of April 25.

Security forces conducted a raid on a suspected safe house in Sammanthurai on Friday, April 26, resulting in three suicide bombers to detonate their explosives inside the compound. At least 15 people were killed in the incident. Other security operations in Ampara district yielded large amounts of explosives and other bomb-making materials.

Advice

Individuals in Sri Lanka, particularly Colombo and Ampara district, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, anticipate heightened security measures and limited telecommunication access, report suspicious behaviors and objects to the police, carry proper identification, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities 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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