Islamic State has claimed responsibility for serial bombings in Sri Lanka which killed over 310 people and injured about 500 others on Easter Sunday, the militant group's Amaq news agency said on Tuesday. Sri Lankan government had earlier named local Islamist radical group, the National Thowheed Jamaath, as the prime suspect, for the string of eight powerful blasts that shattered a decade of peace in the island nation since the end of the civil war.
BusinessToday.In had reported on Monday that the Easter blasts that killed hundreds in Sri Lanka had a ISIS connection. Among the suicide bombers was Zahran Hashim, an Islamist extremist imam, who was a demagogue for the National Thowheeth Jamaath, which was known in Sri Lanka for vandalising Buddhist statues, but has the larger aim of spreading global jehad.
The Easter Sunday's attack, which left ten Indians dead, began when a series of suicide bombers rocked Sri Lanka's capital Colombo and the cities of Negombo and Batticaloa. The terrorists targeted Catholic churches and three upscale hotels - including the Shangri-La, Kingsbury and the Cinnamon Grand - in Colombo.
The death toll in the attacks has now reached 310 with several people succumbing to their injuries, with about 500 people wounded, according to a police spokesperson. The island nation is observing national mourning on Tuesday as a tribute to victims of Sunday's dastardly attacks.
According to media reports, the police have arrested 40 people in connection with the suicide bomb attacks.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar