EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / Sri Lankan security personnel walk past debris next to a dead body slumped over a bench following an explosion in St Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, north of the capital Colombo, on April 21, 2019. – A series of eight devastating bomb blasts ripped through high-end hotels and churches holding Easter services in Sri Lanka on April 21, killing nearly 160 people, including dozens of foreigners. (Photo by STR / AFP) / GRAPHIC CONTENT
Agence France-Presse

Official death toll of the Sunday suicide attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka has soared to 290 with another 500 injured.

Most of the dead are said to be Sri Lankan nationals, but 31 people from other countries are believed to have been killed in the unfortunate incident.

No-one has admitted carrying out the bombings, but the Sri Lankan government has blamed a local jihadist group known as the National Thowheed Jamath which it said had the support of an “international network”.

According to the BBC, 24 people have been arrested by police in a series of raids.

Another blast on Monday also occurred near a church in the capital, Colombo, as security forces tried to defuse explosives inside a vehicle used by the attackers.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been reported to have complained that authorities were “aware of information” of possible attacks but that the intelligence was not acted upon.

World leaders have been expressing outrage at the deadly attacks and, at the same time, paying tributes to the victims.

US President Donald Trump called Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday to express condolences while the Prime Minister reportedly appreciated the president’s concern and updated him on the progress of the investigation into the attacks.

Mr Trump was also reported to have pledged his country’s support to Sri Lanka in bringing the perpetrators to justice, and the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the fight against global terrorism.

Other world leaders, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Catherine, have also been expressing condolences to the people of Sri Lanka and other affected nations in the sad event.

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