The terrorist attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on the occasion of Easter Sunday killed 290 people and injured nearly 500 churchgoers.
Police, however, did not release a breakdown of the number of people were dead and wounded at each location.
CAPTION: Death Toll at the Sri Lankan Church Bombings rises to 290
Various Security organizations had been monitoring the National Thowheed Jamath jihadist group and had also notified the police about a possible attack.
Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and the cabinet members were not informed, said the minister.
I strongly condemn the cowardly attacks on our people today. I call upon all Sri Lankans during this tragic time to remain united and strong. Please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation. The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation.
— Ranil Wickremesinghe (@RW_UNP) April 21, 2019
National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ) has been considered a major suspect by a government spokesman.
Mr. Wickremesinghe posted on Twitter, appealing,
mourn the senseless loss of innocent lives,
He further added,
It is imperative that we remain unified as Sri Lankans in the face of this unspeakable tragedy,
The first reports of the bomb blasts came around 08:45 (local time) on Sunday with six explosions reported within a small interval of time.
Three churches in Colombo's Kochchikade district, Negombo and Batticaloa were targeted during the Sunday Easter services.
The Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury hotels in Colombo were also attacked.
Police officials said that the bombings were carried out by suicide bombers.
Police then raided Dehiwala and Dematagoda, where they suspected of other future bombings.
As suspected there were bomb blasts in both Dehiwala and Dematagoda, and three policemen also died in the latter, when a suicide bomber detonated the bomb.
An improvised bombing device, a 6ft-long plastic pipe stacked with explosives, was also located and defused in Colombo airport.