New Delhi: One of the suicide bombers that struck Sri Lanka’s Colombo on Sunday, stood in a queue for Easter breakfast at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel before exploding the bombs latched on his back. Also Read - Govt Permits Pakistan PM Imran Khan to Use Indian Airspace For His Maiden Visit To Sri Lanka
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With a plate in the hand, the man who had registered himself as Mohammed Azzam Mohamed was about to be served when he blew himself up, reports say. (Helpline numbers issued by India) Also Read - This Country Will Resume International Flights After Christmas
The Taprobane restaurant of the hotel was having one of its busiest days on Easter. A manager spoke to foreign news agency AFP on condition of anonymity and said, “It was 8:30AM and it was busy. It was families… He came up to the top of the queue and set off the blast.”
One of the hotel staffers said on checking his credential in the register, they were found to be false.
At least 207 people were killed and more than 450 injured when suicide bombers exploded themselves in three luxury hotels and three churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday in the island’s bloodiest day since the civil war ended a decade ago.
The mayhem began in the morning at the St Anthony’s Shrine at Kochchikade in Colombo when hundreds were gathered for the Easter Mass, and within half hour similar explosions ripped through the St Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, 30 km from here, and the Zion Church in the eastern district of Batticaloa, 250 km east of Colombo.
Almost simultaneously, suicide bombers also killed themselves amid Easter crowds in three luxury hotels in the heart of Colombo: Cinnamon Grand, near the official residence of the Sri Lankan Prime Minister, The Shangri La and Kingsbury Hotel, raining death and destruction.
In the wake of the dastardly attack, the government of Sri Lanka has imposed social media ban across the country. Night curfew, from 6 PM on Sunday to 6 AM on Monday, has also been announced.
No group has taken responsibility for the attack yet. However, reports quoting intelligence sources hinted at ISI’s hand in the attack. The attack was targeted at Indians on the direction of ISI, it is believed.
With inputs from agencies