April 22, 2019 17:06:19
Two Australians are among 290 people killed in terrorist attacks on churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed.
- Up to 290 people were killed in bombings at churches and luxury hotels across Sri Lanka
- Scott Morrison said two of those killed were Australian, and two other Australians were among hundreds injured
- A Sri Lankan investigator said the bombings were carried out by seven suicide bombers
Mr Morrison said both victims were members of the same family and were living in the country at the time.
“We deeply regret these deaths and we extend our deepest and most sincere sympathies to the family,” he said.
Two other Australians, both women, one in her 50s and the other in her 20s, are among hundreds of people who were injured in the Easter Sunday attacks.
Mr Morrison said one woman received shrapnel wounds and the other suffered a broken leg.
Earlier today Sri Lankan authorities confirmed the death toll from the attacks had risen to 290, with around 500 injured.
The coordinated bombings were carried out by seven suicide bombers, Sri Lankan government forensic crime investigator Ariyananda Welianga said.
He said most of the attacks were carried out by lone bombers, but said two attackers struck at Colombo’s Shangri-La Hotel.
Authorities also confirmed today they had “prior information” of an imminent attack on churches, up to 10 days before the bombings.
Two government ministers have alluded to intelligence failures.
Telecommunications Minister Harin Fernando tweeted: “Some intelligence officers were aware of this incidence. Therefore there was a delay in action. Serious action needs to be taken as to why this warning was ignored.”
He said his father had heard of the possibility of an attack as well and had warned him not to enter popular churches.
And Mano Ganeshan, the minister for national integration, said his ministry’s security officers had been warned by their division about the possibility that two suicide bombers would target politicians.
The police’s Criminal Investigation Department, which is handling the investigation into the blasts, will look into those reports, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said.
April 22, 2019 16:42:52