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As many as 87 bomb detonators were found on Monday at a bus station in Colombo, police said, a day after a series of deadly blasts killed 290 people and wounded more than 500 others in the island nation. The police initially found 12 bomb detonators scattered on the ground. A further search revealed 75 more, a police statement said.
A local outfit identified as the National Tawheed Jamaat is suspected of plotting the deadly Easter blasts that killed 290 people and wounded 500 others in the worst terror attack in the country's history, a top Sri Lankan minister said on Monday. No group has claimed responsibility for Sunday's attacks, but police have so far arrested 24 people.
The attacks in Sri Lanka, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, are the largest carried out on South Asian Christians in recent memory. Twenty-four suspects were held in connection with the bombings but details of these people have not been made public. It is also not clear yet why Catholics were singled out and who orchestrated the bombings.
For many Sri Lankans, Sunday's attacks against churches and high-end hotels brought back painful memories of a conflict that lasted three decades and killed as many as 100,000 people. During those years, bomb attacks were a regular occurrence, and left many Sri Lankans on edge in the streets and on public transport.
Eight apparently co-ordinated explosions targeted Easter worshippers and high end hotels popular with international guests. The horrific death toll, which has risen dramatically overnight, was given on Monday morning by a police spokesman, who said a further 500 people had been wounded. A nationwide curfew imposed shortly after the blasts was lifted early Monday.
Authorities have not made public details on those held after Sunday's attacks. But a police source told AFP the 13 were detained at two locations in and around Colombo. The source said the 13 men are from the same radical group.
India strongly condemned the Sri Lankan serial blasts, which left over 200 dead, including at least three Indians, saying there could be no justification whatsoever for any act of terror.