Connect with us

Headlines

Sri Lanka Bomb Attacks Update – 290 Confirmed Killed, 24 Arrested

Published

on

Eight coordinated explosions that tore through churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday have killed at least 290 people and injured another 500, in what officials have called a “brand-new type of terrorism.”

Police have arrested 24 people in connection with the suicide bombs, the worst violence the South Asian island has seen since its bloody civil war ended 10 years ago.
A ninth improvised explosive device (IED) was defused near the capital’s Bandaranaike International Airport on Sunday evening, according to an Air Force spokesman. The blasts appears to have targeted tourism hotspots, as well as churches, in a bid to gain maximum global attention.
Foreign nationals are among the dead, including five British citizens, two of whom held dual US-UK nationality, three Indians, two Australians, two Chinese cousins, one person from the Netherlands, two Turkish citizens and one Portuguese person.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Sri Lankan Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said the “terrorist incident” was carried out by those following “religious extremism.”
On Sunday evening it was revealed in a leaked memo that police had been warned of a potential attack by the Nations Thawahid Jaman (NTJ), an Islamist group led by Mohomad Saharan. It is unclear whether the information related to Sunday’s bombings.
The Prime Minister of Sri Lanka has said the intelligence was not shared with him and other ministers. Sajith Premadasa, minister of housing construction and cultural affairs, said the officers had acted with “negligence and incompetence.”
Analysts, however, have cautioned against rushing to conclusions. Dhruva Jaishankar, a fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at Brookings India, said the NTJ is a little-known group, which has previously defaced Buddhist statues, and was unlikely to have the capacity or sophistication to execute an attack like Sunday’s without assistance.
While there is a known transnational Islamist presence in places such as Pakistan, Malaysia, and the Philippines, Jaishankar said little is known about Islamic radicalism in Sri Lanka and that it was “premature” to speculate on which organizations might have been involved.
Christianity is a minority religion in Sri Lanka, accounting for less than 10% of the total population of 21.4 million. According to census data, 70.2% of Sri Lankans identify as Buddhist, 12% Hindu, 9.7% Muslim, and 7.4% Christian.
It is estimated that 82% of Sri Lankan Christians are Roman Catholic.
A social media blackout has been enforced as the authorities try to contain the violence and establish who carried out the attacks and why.

How it unfolded

The first wave of attacks struck during packed Easter Sunday services.
More than 1,000 people had come to the one of the explosion sites, St. Sebastian’s Church, where 102 people were killed, according to Father Edmond Tillekeratne, social communications director for the Archdiocese of Colombo.
As the Easter services got underway at churches in the cities of Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa, the bombers detonated their devices. The bombs blew out the tiled roofs of churches, killing worshipers. Images showed bloodied pews, broken glass and plumes of smoke.
Courtesy CNN

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Headlines

Gowon Brought Half of CBN to UK, Nigerian Officials Have Loot Here – British MP

Published

on

A member of the United Kingdom Parliament, Tom Tugendhat (Tonbridge and Malling) took a swipe at retired General Yakubu Gowon on Monday.

Gowon was Nigeria’s Head of State from 1966 to 1975.

During the debate on a petition on End SARS, Tugendhat accused him and the country’s leaders of corruption.

Decrying the situation in Nigeria, the lawmaker said: “One of the great countries is, sadly, being racked by violence, and violence against young people.

The greatest book in the English Language is Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the great Nigerian writer. The beauty of that book is the way it explains the challenge of changing generations to live together.

“The way it speaks about values falling away and community being eroded by outside pressure. What we’re seeing in Nigeria today is part of that story.

“It’s a tragedy that we are watching, it’s a tragedy that we are all witnessing. The pressure this time is not foreign colonialism, the pressure instead is corruption and violence.

“We need to call out the corruption, we need to use the powers that we have in this country to stop those profiting from the wealth of that great nation and hiding it here.

“Some people will remember when General Gowon left Nigeria with half the Central Bank and moved to London.

“We know that today, even now, in this great city of ours, there are, sadly, some people who have taken from the Nigerian people and hidden their ill-gotten gains here.

“We know that our banks, sadly, have been used for that profit and for that illegal transfer of assets.

“And that means the UK is in enormous unique position in being able to do
actually something to really exert pressure on those who have robbed the Nigerian people.”

MPs including Theresa Villiers (Chipping Barnet), Kate Osamor (Edmonton), Lyn Carol Brown (West Ham), Taiwo Owatemi (Coventry North West) made contributions.

The lawmakers urged the Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, and the UK Foreign Office to engage Nigerian authorities and brief parliament subsequently.

DailyPost

Continue Reading

Headlines

#EndSARS: CNN Calls FG’s Bluff, Releases Second Report on Lekki Shootings

Published

on

Amid threats of sanction from the Federal Government over its investigative report on the shootings at Lekki toll plaza during the #EndSARS protests, CNN has released a second report on the incident.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had last week described CNN’s report on the Lekki shootings as poor journalism, adding that the network deserved to be sanctioned.

Mohammed also followed up the threat with a letter addressed to the management of CNN in Atlanta.

However, the network on Tuesday did a second report with more damning footage showing soldiers shooting at unarmed protesters on October 20, 2020.

The fresh report also shows the Commander, 81 Division, Brig.Gen Ahmed Taiwo, admitting before the judicial panel in Lagos that his men indeed took live ammunition to the tollgate.

The CNN report also highlights the fact that Brig.Gen Taiwo’s claim is at variance with the minister’s who had claimed last week that the army fired blank bullets.

The fresh report also shows protesters running as soldiers open fire at the tollgate.

The National Broadcasting Commission, which is overseen by the information minister, had last month slammed hefty fines on three Nigerian television stations for daring to use some of the footage which CNN has also used.

The Federal Government has been receiving flak from members of the United Kingdom Parliament and Amnesty International over the killing of protesters.

The Punch

Continue Reading

Headlines

Buhari’s Letter Seeking Yakubu’s Confirmation as INEC Chairman Read in Senate

Published

on

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has asked the Senate to confirm the appointment of Professor Mahmood Yakubu, for a second term in office.

Buhari’s official communication to the red chamber was read on the floor during plenary on Tuesday, by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.

He sought the lawmakers’ expeditious consideration of his request for another five-year tenure for Yakubu.

Continue Reading