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Sri Lankan police chief warned about possible bombings 10 days before Easter attacks

Sri Lankan police chief warned about possible bombings 10 days before Easter attacks
Just 10 days before explosions at six churches and hotels in Sri Lanka claimed some 160 lives, the national police chief reportedly sent an alert about a radical Islamist group planning bomb attacks on prominent churches.

The alert was sent by Pujuth Jayasundara on April 11, AFP reported. It said that Sri Lankan authorities had received a tip from a foreign intelligence service, warning of bomb threat posed by a radical group.

“A foreign intelligence agency has reported that the NTJ (National Thowheeth Jama’ath) is planning to carry out suicide attacks targeting prominent churches as well as the Indian High Commission in Colombo,” the alert said, as quoted by the news agency.

The bombings at three Christian churches and three luxury hotels happened on Easter Sunday, just as churchgoers were converging to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The apparently coordinated attacks claimed at least 160 lives and injured hundreds, according to the latest reports, with the death toll expected to rise. No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the Easter bombings.

Also on rt.com Over 200 killed, hundreds injured in series of blasts at Sri Lankan hotels & churches

The NTJ is a radical Islamist group based in Sri Lanka, which came to prominence last year after vandalizing Buddhist statues.

Sri Lanka is a predominantly Buddhist nation, with some 70 percent of its population of 22 million following the faith. Muslims are the third-largest denomination after the Hindu, with less than 10 percent of Sri Lankans subscribing to Islam. Christianity is the fourth-largest religion, adherents of which compose some 7.6 percent of the population, according to the 2012 national census.

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