Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena announced on Friday, August 23, that the four-month countrywide state of emergency declared in April 2019 had been lifted. The state of emergency was issued in the wake of the Easter Day bomb attacks targeting churches and hotels that killed over 250 people. Officials reported that all suspects directly connected to the bombing attacks have been arrested or killed. The government is not expected to reimpose the state of emergency over the near term.
A series of coordinated bombings struck Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday (April 21), killing at least 258 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.
Individuals in Sri Lanka are advised to monitor the situation and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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