World

Never Expected Bombing On Easter Sunday: Sri Lanka Defence Secretary

BP World Bureau | Apr 23 2019 11:42:23 AM
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COLOMBO: Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando said that it would have been ‘impossible’ to protect a large number of churches in the country despite receiving prior intelligence about the attacks.

He asserted that the Sri Lankan government had never expected the Easter Sunday bombings of such magnitude.

The country’s worst terror attack had killed 290 people, including 8 Indians.

Read: 6 Indians Among 290 Killed In Sri Lankan Serial Bomb Blast

Reportedly, 7 suicide bombers believed to be the members of local Islamist extremist group National Tawheed Jamath (NTJ) had carried out a series of highly destructive blasts that had torn through churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.

However, no group had so far claimed the responsibility for Sunday's attacks. The police have arrested 24 people, most of them were the members of an Islamist extremist group, in connection with the blasts that also had killed 31 foreigners, including eight Indian nationals.

The Defence Secretary told media that an emergency law was non-functional in the country since Sri Lanka was a democratic country.

Therefore there was very little he can do, said he.

Fernando also had noted that the state intelligence service had already informed the government of a small but organised and powerful criminal group working in the country.

He said the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has already started investigations into the incident while the Interpol is expected to reach in the country on Tuesday.

Also Read: Over 280 Injured, 138 Killed In Sri Lankan Blasts On Easter

The Defence Secretary also had said that would not provide protection to hotels as it is a location, which must be looked after by their respective security officials.

Reminding the civil war, Fernando said that the government had not provided security to hotels even that time.

Through a Twitter message, Interpol Secretary-General Jurgen Stock has offered full support to the investigation that is being carried out by the Lankan authorities.

Read More: Sri Lanka Blasts: Twitter Is Flooded With Reactions

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's president Maithripala Sirisena had given the military sweeping police powers in the wake of the Easter bombings.