Easter Sunday bomb blasts kill more than 200 in Sri Lanka

By BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI and KRISHAN FRANCIS


COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Nine bombings of churches, luxury hotels and other sites on Easter Sunday killed more than 200 people and wounded hundreds more in Sri Lanka’s deadliest violence since a devastating civil war in the South Asian island nation ended a decade ago.


 



 

스리랑카 연쇄 폭발 사망자 228명으로 늘어


450명 이상 부상...사망자 늘 듯

테러 용의자 13명 체포

모두 스리랑카인스리랑카 연쇄 폭발 사망자 228명으로 늘어


450명 이상 부상...사망자 늘 듯

테러 용의자 13명 체포

모두 스리랑카인


   부활절인 21일(현지 시각) 스리랑카에서 연쇄 폭발 테러가 발생한 가운데 사망자 수가 228명으로 늘었다. 용의자는 지금까지 13명이 체포됐다. 


이날 라닐 위크레메싱게 스리랑카 총리는 수도 콜롬보 등 8곳에서 발생한 연쇄 폭발로 지금까지 228명이 숨지고 450명이 다쳤다고 밝혔다. 앞서 현지 언론은 207명이 사망했다고 전했으나 스리랑카 정부는 사망자 수가 21명 늘었다고 공식 발표했다. 


사진설명:

2019년 4월 21일 스리랑카 네곰보 성 세바스티안 교회에서 폭발 사고가 발생했다. /UPI 연합뉴스


AP통신에 따르면, 스리랑카 경찰은 현재 폭발과 관련된 13명의 용의자를 체포했다고 발표했다. 이들은 모두 스리랑카인인 것으로 확인됐다. 경찰은 용의자 가운데 10명을 범죄수사부에 넘겼으며, 용의자들이 사용한 것으로 의심되는 차량과 은신처를 조사 중이다. 


또 경찰 당국은 스리랑카 행정수도 콜롬보에서 30km 떨어진 반다라나이케 국제공항에서 급조한 폭발장치를 발견하고 뇌관을 제거한 것으로 전해졌다. 해당 폭발물은 공항에서 약 2km 떨어진 도로에서 발견됐다. 


스리랑카 정부는 이번 연쇄 폭발 사고를 종교적 극단주의자들에 의한 테러 공격으로 판단했다. 이에 따라 마이트리팔라 시리세나 대통령은 이번 테러 사건을 전담하기 위한 특별위원회를 임명했다. 


앞서 이날 스리랑카 시각으로 오전 8시 45분 콜롬보의 성 앤서니 교회에서 첫 번째 폭발이 발생했다. 이어 콜롬보 북쪽 도시인 네곰보의 성 세바스티안 교회, 스리랑카 동부 바티칼로아 지역의 시온 교회, 콜롬보 남부 데히왈라 동물원 인근 게스트하우스 등 4개 도시에서 연쇄 폭발 사고가 일어났다. 


CNN에 따르면, 이번 희생자 중에는 스리랑카인뿐만 아니라 최소 8개국 외국인들이 포함된 것으로 알려졌다. 영국인 5명, 인도인 3명, 덴마크인 3명, 중국인 2명, 터키인 2명, 네덜란드인 1명, 포르투갈 1명이 희생된 것으로 확인됐다. 또 마이크 폼페이오 미국 국무장관은 이날 희생자 중 미국인이 포함됐다고 발표했다.

이경민 기자 조선일보




출처 : http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2019/04/22/2019042200367.html


edited by kcontents


Dead bodies of victims lie inside St. Sebastian's Church damaged in blast in Negombo, north of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, April 21, 2019. More than two hundred people were killed and hundreds more injured in eight blasts that rocked churches and hotels in and just outside Sri Lanka's capital on Easter Sunday. (AP Photo/Chamila Karunarathne)



Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardena described the blasts as a terrorist attack by religious extremists, and police said 13 suspects were arrested, though there was no immediate claim of responsibility. Wijewardena said most of the bombings were believed to have been suicide attacks.



The explosions — mostly in or around Colombo, the capital — collapsed ceilings and blew out windows, killing worshippers and hotel guests in one scene after another of smoke, soot, blood, broken glass, screams and wailing alarms. Victims were carried out of blood-spattered pews.


“People were being dragged out,” said Bhanuka Harischandra, of Colombo, a 24-year-old founder of a tech marketing company who was going to the Shangri-La Hotel for a meeting when it was bombed. “People didn’t know what was going on. It was panic mode.”


He added: “There was blood everywhere.”


Most of those killed were Sri Lankans. But the three bombed hotels and one of the churches, St. Anthony’s Shrine, are frequented by foreign tourists, and Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry said the bodies of at least 27 foreigners from a variety of countries were recovered.


At least 207 people were killed and hundreds more wounded in eight bomb blasts that rocked churches and luxury hotels in or near Sri Lanka's capital on Easter Sunday. (April 21)

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The U.S. said “several” Americans were among the dead, while Britain, China, Japan and Portugal said they, too, lost citizens.


The Sri Lankan government imposed a nationwide curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and blocked most social media including Facebook and YouTube, saying it needed to curtail the spread of false information and ease tension in the country of about 21 million people.


Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said he feared the massacre could trigger instability in Sri Lanka, and he vowed to “vest all necessary powers with the defense forces” to take action against those responsible.


A graphic showing where the explosions were in Sri Lanka/Daily Express

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The Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, called on Sri Lanka’s government to “mercilessly” punish those responsible “because only animals can behave like that.”


Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said at least 207 people were killed and 450 wounded. He said police found a safe house and a van used by the attackers.




The scale of the bloodshed recalled the worst days of Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war, in which the Tamil Tigers, a rebel group from the ethnic Tamil minority, sought independence from the Buddhist-majority country. The Tamils are Hindu, Muslim and Christian.



Sri Lanka, situated off the southern tip of India, is about 70 percent Buddhist. Scattered incidents of anti-Christian harassment have occurred in recent years, but nothing on the scale of what happened Sunday.


There is also no history of violent Muslim militants in Sri Lanka. However, tensions have been running high more recently between hard-line Buddhist monks and Muslims.


Multiple bomb explosions rocking churches and hotels in Sri Lanka/ABC News

edited by kcontents


Two Muslim groups in Sri Lanka condemned the church attacks, as did countries around the world, and Pope Francis expressed condolences at the end of his traditional Easter Sunday blessing in Rome.


“I want to express my loving closeness to the Christian community, targeted while they were gathered in prayer, and all the victims of such cruel violence,” Francis said.


Six nearly simultaneous blasts took place in the morning at the shrine and the Cinnamon Grand, Shangri-La and Kingsbury hotels in Colombo, as well as at two churches outside Colombo, according to a Sri Lankan military spokesman, Brig. Sumith Atapattu.


A few hours later, two more blasts occurred just outside Colombo, one of them at a guesthouse, where two people were killed, the other near an overpass, Atapattu said.


Also, three police officers were killed during a search at a suspected safe house on the outskirts of Colombo when its occupants apparently detonated explosives to prevent arrest, authorities said.




The Shangri-La’s second-floor restaurant was gutted, with the ceiling and windows blown out. Loose wires hung down and tables were overturned in the blackened space. From outside the police cordon, three bodies could be seen covered in white sheets.


Foreign tourists hurriedly used their cellphones to text family and loved ones that they were OK. Visitors from around the world come to Sri Lanka to see elephants, tea plantations, ancient Buddhist monuments and other sights.


“I had a sense that the country was turning the corner, and in particular those in the tourism industry were hopeful for the future,” said tourist Peter Kelson, a technology manager from Sydney. “Apart from the tragedy of the immediate victims of the bombings, I worry that these terrible events will set the country back significantly.”


sri lanka blast/India Today

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Locals who work in Sri Lanka’s vital tourism industry were shocked and upset by the bloodshed.


“After so many years, we’ve started again,” said Gamini Francis, 56, a long-time hotel worker. “A lot of people are going to lose their jobs. 100% sure. It’s tragic. Crazy people killing innocent people.”




Sri Lankan forces defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009, ending a civil war that took over 100,000 lives, with both sides accused of grave human rights violations.


Harischandra, who witnessed the attack at the Shangri-La Hotel, said there was “a lot of tension” after the bombings, but added: “We’ve been through these kinds of situations before.”


He said Sri Lankans are “an amazing bunch” and noted that his social media feed was flooded with photos of people standing in long lines to give blood.

https://www.apnews.com/55d93daed99c4f76baf7deec1bce5c72


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