Sri Lankans urged to avoid mosques, churches amid fears of attacks

Orient Net 2019-04-26 07:31:00

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Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said on Friday (April 26) police are looking for 140 people believed to have links with ISIS, which has claimed responsibility for the Easter Sunday suicide bombings of churches and hotels, Reuters reported.

Muslims in Sri Lanka were urged to pray at home on Friday and not attend mosques or churches after the State Intelligence Services warned of possible car bomb attacks, amid fears of retaliatory violence for the bombings that killed 253 people.

The All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ullama, Sri Lanka’s main Islamic religious body, urged Muslims to conduct prayers at home on Friday in case “there is a need to protect family and properties”.

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith also appealed to priests not to conduct mass at churches until further notice.

Sri Lanka remains on edge after the suicide bombing attacks on three churches and four hotels that also wounded about 500 people.

Nearly 10,000 soldiers were being deployed across the Indian Ocean island state to carry out searches and provide security for religious centers, the military said on Friday.

Fears of retaliatory sectarian violence have already caused Muslim communities to flee their homes amid bomb scares, lockdowns and security sweeps.