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The first funerals were held on Tuesday at the damaged church in western Sri Lanka, where as many as 100 parishioners had been killed by a suicide bomber on Sunday. The coffins, many bearing the remains of children, were interred as the government declared a national day of mourning and raised the death toll from the weekend’s coordinated attacks to 310.
• The number of suspects arrested in connection with the attacks at churches and hotels increased to 40 from 24 on Tuesday as the government declared “emergency law.” The new law gives the police sweeping powers to detain and interrogate suspects without obtaining warrants.
• Intelligence agencies from across South Asia are sharing information about National Thowheeth Jama’ath, the radical Muslim group blamed for carrying out the attacks on churches and hotels. The group, previously known for small-scale acts of vandalism, is believed have backing by “international terrorist organizations,” officials said.
• As intelligence and security officials searched for clues about the perpetrators, politicians pointed fingers after it was revealed that the country’s security forces were warned at least 10 days before the bombings that the militant group was planning attacks against churches, but apparently took no action.

The coffins came one by one, some heavy and others much lighter.
As bulldozers cleared more space in a vacant lot near a church in Negombo, Sri Lanka, barefoot men dripping with sweat scooped dirt with shovels as the sun beat down.
One family stood in the shade. They were here for the burial of an 11-year-old boy.
“I don’t even know what to say,” said Lasanthi Anusha, a woman who came for the burial of her son’s classmate. “There were even smaller ones.”
Tuesday was the beginning of the first mass burials of the victims of Sunday’s suicide attacks in Sri Lanka, which killed more than 300 people, including many children. Soldiers and even an armored personnel carrier lined the roads as the burials unfolded under widespread grief and intense security.
Of the half-dozen sites simultaneously attacked on Sunday, the St. Sebastian Church in Negombo was the hardest hit. A suicide bomber, who has been linked to a homegrown Sri Lankan Islamist group, killed as many as 100 people here.
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On Tuesday, priests wearing crisp white robes trimmed with black sashes held funerals in a large tent just outside the church. The funerals were scheduled to go all day. The neighborhood around the church had been turned into an enormous, fortified mourning ground, with hundreds of soldiers deployed in every direction and little white flags fluttering in the wind.
A full day of national mourning was declared across the country on Tuesday, as flags were lowered and a moment of silence was observed.
At 8:30 a.m., the time the first of six attacks were carried out on Sunday, Sri Lankans of differing faiths and ethnic groups bowed their heads and remained silent for three minutes.
Tuesday's moment of silence coincided with a report from a police spokesman that the death toll had risen to 310, up from 290 on Monday.
As part of the mourning period, liquor stores were ordered closed. Radio and television stations have played somber music throughout the day.
The front pages of local newspapers were similarly solemn on Tuesday. One, The Daily Mirror, printed a stark all black cover that read, “In remembrance of all those who lost their lives on 21.04.2019.”
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One of the suicide bombers was arrested just a few months ago, Sri Lankan officials disclosed on Monday, on suspicion of having vandalized a statue of Buddha. That is an inflammatory act in a Buddhist-majority nation where strident religiosity, on all sides, seems to be increasing.
The disclosure of the arrest came as Sri Lankan officials squared off over the attacks, and whether more could have been done to try to prevent them. In a government that is no stranger to crisis, the bitter recriminations suggested that a new one may be in the offing.
New details emerged about a confidential security memo on the group believed to be behind the attacks, which was issued 10 days before it struck. The memo appeared to lay it all out: names, addresses, phone numbers, even the times in the middle of the night that one suspect would visit his wife.
Surveying the damage at St. Sebastian’s Church on Monday.CreditAdam Dean for The New York Times
Image
Surveying the damage at St. Sebastian’s Church on Monday.CreditAdam Dean for The New York Times
Whoever designed the suicide vests used in the blasts showed considerable competence, a fact that is certain to worry law enforcement agencies, said Scott Stewart, vice president for tactical analysis at Stratfor, a geopolitical consulting firm based in Austin, Tex.
When small, homegrown extremist groups use explosives, they often start with a series of failures. Some bombs fail to detonate completely, and others explode early, late, or not at all.
But in the Sri Lanka attack, it appears that all seven suicide vests detonated and did heavy damage, Mr. Stewart said, indicating skill at making bombs and manually activated detonators, and suggesting access to a large supply of military-grade high explosives.
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“You don’t do that by accident, so they must have a fairly decent logistics network and funding,” he added.
But Joshua A. Geltzer, a former senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council, said he would not be surprised if a small group had been able to stage the attack without direct help.
“There is so, so much instruction and guidance available on the open internet these days, not to mention whatever is circulating on encrypted chat groups, widely available in terrorist circles if not totally public,” he said.
Unexploded bombs, apparently not designed for suicide attacks, were found in other public places in Sri Lanka. That suggests that the bomb maker (or makers) was less expert at detonation using timers or remote control, Mr. Stewart said.
President Maithripala Sirisena in December. Mr. Sirisena’s government has given additional powers to the police and security forces to detain and interrogate people.CreditAdam Dean for The New York Times
Image
President Maithripala Sirisena in December. Mr. Sirisena’s government has given additional powers to the police and security forces to detain and interrogate people.CreditAdam Dean for The New York Times
Sri Lankan officials took a series of extraordinary steps in an effort to keep control of their shaken country, aiming to prevent further extremist attacks and retaliatory violence.
Mr. Sirisena, the president, said the government had given additional powers to the police and security forces to detain and interrogate people, and for the second day in a row, a curfew was imposed, from 8 p.m. until 4 a.m.
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The government temporarily blocked several networks, including Facebook and Instagram. Users also reported being unable to access the messaging services WhatsApp and Viber.
Though Sunday’s attacks have no known link to social media, Sri Lanka has a troubled history with violence incited on the platforms. The ban was an extraordinary step that reflected growing global concerns about social media.

Sri Lanka Bombings Live Updates: Victims Interred in Mass Grave as Dozens Are Arrested


The first funerals were held on Tuesday at the damaged church in western Sri Lanka, where as many as 100 parishioners had been killed by a suicide bomber on Sunday. The coffins, many bearing the remains of children, were interred as the government declared a national day of mourning and raised the death toll from the weekend’s coordinated attacks to 310.
• The number of suspects arrested in connection with the attacks at churches and hotels increased to 40 from 24 on Tuesday as the government declared “emergency law.” The new law gives the police sweeping powers to detain and interrogate suspects without obtaining warrants.
• Intelligence agencies from across South Asia are sharing information about National Thowheeth Jama’ath, the radical Muslim group blamed for carrying out the attacks on churches and hotels. The group, previously known for small-scale acts of vandalism, is believed have backing by “international terrorist organizations,” officials said.
• As intelligence and security officials searched for clues about the perpetrators, politicians pointed fingers after it was revealed that the country’s security forces were warned at least 10 days before the bombings that the militant group was planning attacks against churches, but apparently took no action.

The coffins came one by one, some heavy and others much lighter.
As bulldozers cleared more space in a vacant lot near a church in Negombo, Sri Lanka, barefoot men dripping with sweat scooped dirt with shovels as the sun beat down.
One family stood in the shade. They were here for the burial of an 11-year-old boy.
“I don’t even know what to say,” said Lasanthi Anusha, a woman who came for the burial of her son’s classmate. “There were even smaller ones.”
Tuesday was the beginning of the first mass burials of the victims of Sunday’s suicide attacks in Sri Lanka, which killed more than 300 people, including many children. Soldiers and even an armored personnel carrier lined the roads as the burials unfolded under widespread grief and intense security.
Of the half-dozen sites simultaneously attacked on Sunday, the St. Sebastian Church in Negombo was the hardest hit. A suicide bomber, who has been linked to a homegrown Sri Lankan Islamist group, killed as many as 100 people here.
Advertisement
On Tuesday, priests wearing crisp white robes trimmed with black sashes held funerals in a large tent just outside the church. The funerals were scheduled to go all day. The neighborhood around the church had been turned into an enormous, fortified mourning ground, with hundreds of soldiers deployed in every direction and little white flags fluttering in the wind.
A full day of national mourning was declared across the country on Tuesday, as flags were lowered and a moment of silence was observed.
At 8:30 a.m., the time the first of six attacks were carried out on Sunday, Sri Lankans of differing faiths and ethnic groups bowed their heads and remained silent for three minutes.
Tuesday's moment of silence coincided with a report from a police spokesman that the death toll had risen to 310, up from 290 on Monday.
As part of the mourning period, liquor stores were ordered closed. Radio and television stations have played somber music throughout the day.
The front pages of local newspapers were similarly solemn on Tuesday. One, The Daily Mirror, printed a stark all black cover that read, “In remembrance of all those who lost their lives on 21.04.2019.”
Advertisement
One of the suicide bombers was arrested just a few months ago, Sri Lankan officials disclosed on Monday, on suspicion of having vandalized a statue of Buddha. That is an inflammatory act in a Buddhist-majority nation where strident religiosity, on all sides, seems to be increasing.
The disclosure of the arrest came as Sri Lankan officials squared off over the attacks, and whether more could have been done to try to prevent them. In a government that is no stranger to crisis, the bitter recriminations suggested that a new one may be in the offing.
New details emerged about a confidential security memo on the group believed to be behind the attacks, which was issued 10 days before it struck. The memo appeared to lay it all out: names, addresses, phone numbers, even the times in the middle of the night that one suspect would visit his wife.
Surveying the damage at St. Sebastian’s Church on Monday.CreditAdam Dean for The New York Times
Image
Surveying the damage at St. Sebastian’s Church on Monday.CreditAdam Dean for The New York Times
Whoever designed the suicide vests used in the blasts showed considerable competence, a fact that is certain to worry law enforcement agencies, said Scott Stewart, vice president for tactical analysis at Stratfor, a geopolitical consulting firm based in Austin, Tex.
When small, homegrown extremist groups use explosives, they often start with a series of failures. Some bombs fail to detonate completely, and others explode early, late, or not at all.
But in the Sri Lanka attack, it appears that all seven suicide vests detonated and did heavy damage, Mr. Stewart said, indicating skill at making bombs and manually activated detonators, and suggesting access to a large supply of military-grade high explosives.
Advertisement
“You don’t do that by accident, so they must have a fairly decent logistics network and funding,” he added.
But Joshua A. Geltzer, a former senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council, said he would not be surprised if a small group had been able to stage the attack without direct help.
“There is so, so much instruction and guidance available on the open internet these days, not to mention whatever is circulating on encrypted chat groups, widely available in terrorist circles if not totally public,” he said.
Unexploded bombs, apparently not designed for suicide attacks, were found in other public places in Sri Lanka. That suggests that the bomb maker (or makers) was less expert at detonation using timers or remote control, Mr. Stewart said.
President Maithripala Sirisena in December. Mr. Sirisena’s government has given additional powers to the police and security forces to detain and interrogate people.CreditAdam Dean for The New York Times
Image
President Maithripala Sirisena in December. Mr. Sirisena’s government has given additional powers to the police and security forces to detain and interrogate people.CreditAdam Dean for The New York Times
Sri Lankan officials took a series of extraordinary steps in an effort to keep control of their shaken country, aiming to prevent further extremist attacks and retaliatory violence.
Mr. Sirisena, the president, said the government had given additional powers to the police and security forces to detain and interrogate people, and for the second day in a row, a curfew was imposed, from 8 p.m. until 4 a.m.
Advertisement
The government temporarily blocked several networks, including Facebook and Instagram. Users also reported being unable to access the messaging services WhatsApp and Viber.
Though Sunday’s attacks have no known link to social media, Sri Lanka has a troubled history with violence incited on the platforms. The ban was an extraordinary step that reflected growing global concerns about social media.

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