31 foreign nationals killed in Sri Lanka blasts, Interpol to send team for investigation

Colombo [Sri Lanka], Apr 22 : Out of the 290 people who lost their lives when eight coordinated explosions rattled Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, 31 have been identified to be foreign nationals, Sri Lanka's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Monday.

Additionally, 14 foreign nationals are reported missing as of now. Authorities have not ruled out a rise in the death toll, adding that the missing foreigners "could be among the unidentified victims at the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer's mortuary."

As many as 17 foreign nationals were injured. Until now, eight Indians have been declared dead due to the explosions -- the worst violence Sri Lanka has witnessed since the end of the civil war 10 years back.

Sri Lanka's military spokesman Sumith Atapattu said that authorities believe six suicide bombers carried out these attacks.

Investigations are currently underway into the explosions. Furthermore, at the request of Sri Lankan authorities, Interpol will be deploying an Incident Response Team to help with the investigations.

"As the Sri Lankan authorities investigate these horrific attacks, Interpol will continue to provide whatever support is necessary," CNN quoted Interpol Secretary General Jurgen Stock as saying in a statement.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed a three-member committee to look into the series of explosions which targetted churches and hotels on Easter Sunday.

Supreme Court judge Vijith Malalgoda, former IGP NK Illangakoon, and former Law and Order Ministry Secretary Padmasiri Jayamanne are the members of the committee, according to Colombo Page.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is also assisting Sri Lankan authorities in investigations, an FBI spokesperson told CNN.

This comes after US President Donald Trump called Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday.

The White House said that Trump pledged US support to the island-nation in bringing the perpetrators to justice.

The Sri Lankan cities of Colombo, Negombo, Kochchikade and Batticaloa fell prey to a set of eight coordinated explosions as the Christian community celebrated Easter Sunday on April 21.

A national emergency has been declared in Sri Lanka in the wake of the deadly blasts, with Tuesday being earmarked as a national day of mourning.

(ANI | 1 year ago)

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31 foreign nationals killed in Sri Lanka blasts, Interpol to send team for investigation