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Suicide bombings on Eater day kills 165 at luxury hotels-Churches in Colombo

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Suicide bombings, Easter, Luxury hotels, Churches, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Tamil Tigers, Colombo, Sri Lanka, World news

Colombo: At least 165 people were killed and more than 600 injured when a string of suicide bombings rocked luxury hotels and churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday in the island’s bloodiest day since the end of the civil war, media reports said.

The deadly explosions rocked at least six luxury hotels and a church each in Colombo, in Katana, some 50 km north of the capital, and in the eastern province of Batticaloa around 8.45 a.m. when hundreds were gathered to celebrate Easter.

The state-run Daily News newspaper put the fatalities at 165 and said at least 402 were injured. Many of the injured were said to be in serious condition. But other news outlets gave varying casualty figures, ranging from 70 to 100.

 

Suicide bombings, Easter, Luxury hotels, Churches, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Tamil Tigers, Colombo, Sri Lanka, World news

 

Minister of Economic Reforms Harsha de Silva, who visited a few of the attack sites, described the carnage.

“Horrible scenes. I saw many body parts strewn all over. Emergency crews are at all locations in full force. (…) We took multiple casualties to hospital. Hopefully saved many lives,” Efe news quoted the Minister as saying.

Images circulated in local media showed the magnitude of the explosion in at least one of the churches, where the ceiling had been partially destroyed, and corpses were strewn around among the rubble, Efe reported.

Rescuers desperately looked for survivors. The Minister said that some of the casualties were foreigners.

 

On Easter suicide bombings targeting luxury hotels-Churches kill165 in Colombo:

 

President Maithripala Sirisena, in a special message which was read out on local news channels, urged the public to remain calm and cooperate with the authorities to conduct swift investigations into the blasts, reported Xinhua news agency.

“I am shocked and saddened by the situation that has occurred. Investigations have been launched to look into what conspiracy is behind these heinous acts. Please remain calm and do not be fooled by rumours,” Sirisena said.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks.

 

Suicide bombings, Easter, Luxury hotels, Churches, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Tamil Tigers, Colombo, Sri Lanka, World news

 

Christians in Sri Lanka had been celebrating the Easter on Sunday, an important festival marking the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the culmination of week-long festivities.

Christians form around 7 per cent of the Sri Lankan population, with the Buddhists accounting for around 70 per cent, followed by Hindus and Muslims.

Sri Lanka’s dragging civil war involving the government and the Tamil Tigers ended in May 2009, leading to a decade of peace.

 

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IAF officer to face homicide charge for shooting down Mi-17 chopper

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IAF officer, Mi-17 chopper, Indian Air Force, Military helicopter, Pakistan Air Force, PAF fighter jets, India and Pakistan, National news

New Delhi: The officer held responsible for the accidental shooting down of a military helicopter at the height of India-Pakistan tension in February will be charged by the Indian Air Force (IAF) for culpable homicide not amounting to murder along with three others, according to reports.

The IAF is yet to officially acknowledge reasons for the Mi-17 helicopter’s crash on February 27, the day Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter jets attempted to cross the Line of Control (LoC). But reports suggest that it was shot down in a friendly fire by IAF’s own air defence missile.

 

IAF officer, Mi-17 chopper, Indian Air Force, Military helicopter, Pakistan Air Force, PAF fighter jets, India and Pakistan, National news

 

The Court of Inquiry into the incident killing all six onboard is yet to be completed.

The IAF maintains that the investigation was still going on but multiple reports indicate that there was a lapse in following the Standard Operating Procedures.

 

IAF Pilot to face homicide charge for shooting down of military helicopter:

 

A report said that the officer commanding the Srinagar air base, where the crash took place, has been removed.

 

IAF officer, Mi-17 chopper, Indian Air Force, Military helicopter, Pakistan Air Force, PAF fighter jets, India and Pakistan, National news

 

The officer who was presiding over operations will face charges of culpable homicide, a criminal offence, according to another report.

The incident had occurred in Jammu and Kashmir in the melee when IAF jets had engaged intruding PAF fighters over the LoC a day after air strike on terrorist camp in Pakistan’s Balakot.

 

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