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Two Swiss among the death victims in Sri Lanka

In the series of attacks on churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka have been killed on Easter Sunday, two Swiss nationals. The Department of foreign Affairs DFA confirmed on Monday evening.

One of the Swiss victims had, therefore, a second citizenship. A third family member who had two nationalities, also died. The EDA is with the relatives in contact and support within the framework of consular protection, said the Department of foreign Affairs.

The Swiss Embassy in Colombo also supports a living in Switzerland and Swiss-Sri Lankan family, whose parents are among the victims.

35 foreigners were among the dead

In the series of attacks, including 35 foreigners are killed on Easter Sunday, at least 290 people. Over 500 people were injured. The government makes a local radical Islamic group for the carnage to be responsible.

According to the government the devastating suicide attacks go to the account of the group's National Thowheeth Jama'ath (NTJ). The government is convinced, however, that the NTJ could have perpetrated the attacks only with the support of an international network, said Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne.

Before the attacks, it had given instructions to stop the plans of the group. First information about possible attacks on churches and tourist destinations, the police have already been on 4. April, pre-load, said Senaratne.

"We do not believe that these attacks were perpetrated by a group of people that were on this country," he added. "There was an international network, without which the attacks wouldn't have succeeded."

motive unclear

the motives of The bombers were on Monday morning is still unclear. According to police sources, 24 Suspects have been detained, would be interrogated. Islamist terrorist attacks had it been in the tropical island state. Only about ten percent of the population of Sri Lanka are Muslims, the majority are Buddhists.

the Prime mister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that Sri Lanka wanted to go with the help of the international community with possible Connections to the bombers abroad. According to him, all those arrested were from Sri Lanka. The secret service of Sri Lanka had been provided with information on a possible attack. It had to be investigated, why no action had been taken.

The government declared on Monday a state of emergency. The office of President Maithripala Sirisena stated that the state of emergency, with additional powers for the security forces, accepted after midnight (20.30 CEST), in order to allow the police and the military, "to ensure public safety". For the night to Tuesday was like the night before, a curfew.

Nearly simultaneous explosions

The explosions in three churches and three luxury hotels had occurred on Sunday morning (local time) at almost the same time - they were perpetrated, according to a Forensikers of the Ministry of defence out of a total of seven suicide bombers. Whether they were counted to the 290 dead on Monday is still unclear.

In the churches of the explosions took place at the time of Easter worship services. There were the most victims. To have been two subsequent detonations in a Hotel and a residential area in the suburbs of the capital Colombo, there was initially no further information.

More explosives defused

On Sunday evening, was found near the largest airport of the island, around 30 kilometres from Colombo, is an explosive device and defused, a spokesman for the air force announced. In the vicinity of the affected churches was found on Monday an explosive device in a parked car.

the bomb squad blew up the vehicle in the vicinity of St. Anthony's Church in the capital, Colombo, after an explosive device was discovered, the police announced. In another place of the city had been ensured at a bus stop 87 detonator.

The discovery of the explosive device and the detonation caused in the surroundings of a panic, such as Videos on social media showed. Witnesses reported on Twitter that the police had to protect a in the vicinity arrested in front of an angry mob.

Premier not stop plans

More than a week before the series of attacks the police of the country notes on possible attacks on churches. Deputy chief of police Priyalal Dissanayake wrote on 11. April, a Letter in which he warned of the attack plans of a local radical Islamic group on Catholic churches, as well as the Indian Embassy in Sri Lanka.

named Suspect had rushed to the attack on two mosques in March, in Christchurch, new Zealand against other religions, it was said. The Cabinet spokesman confirmed the authenticity of several police units, self-addressed letter, the telecommunications Minister, Harin Fernando, had published on Twitter. Premier Wickremesinghe was not informed.

Senaratne, who is also health Minister, criticized the tense relationship between Wickremesinghe and the security services under President and defense Minister Sirisena.

Sirisena had dismissed Wickremesinghe at the end of last year, surprising and replaced. Wickremesinghe won, but the struggle for power and remained in office. "This is not the only country where, if the Prime Minister appear to be on the security Council to convene, they (their members)," said Senaratne.

world-wide horror

The series of attacks caused international horror. Pope Francis commemorated the victims in front of tens of thousands of believers in Rome. UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, expressed "shocked by the terrorist attacks in churches and Hotels, on Easter Sunday, a Holy day for Christians throughout the world".

heads of state and government - including U.S. President Donald Trump, the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Federal President Ueli Maurer - condemned the attacks sharply. (anf/sda)

Created: 22.04.2019, 18:34 PM

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