On April 21st, 2019 - Easter Sunday - at approximately 08.45 a.m., a series of bombings began in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo with an explosion at the St. Anthony’s Church, the country’s national Catholic shrine. Within 45 minutes, a second bomb exploded at St. Sebastian’s Catholic Church in Negomba and a third bomb then exploded at the Protestant Zion Church in Batticaloa. At the same time, there were explosions at three hotels in Colombo popular with Western tourists. The final figures calculate over 260 dead and 500 wounded. The Islamic State claimed the attacks, but the government has blamed a local Islamist extremist group National Thawheed Jamaath (NTJ) for the bombings. After nearly a year 300 people have been arrested and only some of the churches have been repaired, re-consecrated and re-opened. Today, more than one year later, the islanders are still harbouring fear and nursing both physical and psychological wounds.

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