All Sri Lanka Catholic church services suspended: Senior priest

All Sri Lanka Catholic church services suspended: Senior priest

Security personnel stand guard outside a church after a bomb blast in Negombo
Security personnel stand guard outside a church after a bomb blast in Negombo, Sri Lanka on Apr 21, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Stringer)

COLOMBO: All of Sri Lanka's Catholic churches have been ordered to stay closed and suspend services until security improves after deadly Easter bombings, a senior priest said on Thursday (Apr 25).

"On the advice of the security forces we are keeping all churches closed," the priest said. "There will be no public mass said until further notice."

The move to suspend church services comes at a time of high tension in Sri Lanka following the Easter Sunday suicide bomber attacks on the island state that killed 359 people and wounded about 500.

The attacks targeted luxury hotels in the capital of Colombo and churches, where Christians were attending Easter services. The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility.

Sri Lankan police had been warned weeks ago about a possible attacks by a little-known domestic Islamist group the National Thowheeth Jama'ath, according to an Indian intelligence report given to Sri Lankan state intelligence services.

On Apr 25, the Sri Lankan government revised the death toll to 253.

Source: AFP/rw

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