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24 Apr, 2019 08:44

Terrorists needed ‘at least 7-8 years’ to plan Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka

Terrorists needed ‘at least 7-8 years’ to plan Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka

It took terrorists several years to orchestrate the deadly Easter Sunday suicide bombings, lawmaker and former Commander of the Sri Lankan Army, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said. The coordinated attacks killed 359 people.

The bombings “must have been planned for at least 7-8 years,” Fonseka, who also serves as minister of regional development, told lawmakers on Wednesday.

On April 21, nine suicide bombers targeted several Christian churches and luxury hotels, with most of the attacks taking place in Colombo, the nation’s largest city.

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The death toll has continued to rise, and is now at least 359, the junior defense minister, Ruwan Wijewardene, said at a press event on Wednesday.

More than 60 people were arrested in connection to the bombings. Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attacks but provided no evidence of its involvement.

Sri Lankan authorities confirmed the existence of “some links” between IS and the Easter Sunday bombings, but said that domestic Islamist groups, National Thawheed Jama’ut and Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim, were most likely behind the massacre.

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