Death toll of bombings in Sri Lanka reaches 290

As the death toll in Sri Lanka rises, officials continue to look for answers as to who was behind the Easter Sunday suicide bombings.

A little-known Islamic extremist group has been linked to the explosions that have killed nearly 300 people, but officials say the complexity of the terrorist attack leads them to believe an international group may have played a role.

Another explosion today in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo as police were trying to defuse a bomb in a parked van near a religious shrine. No one was hurt.

Yesterday, chaos and hysteria.

Local officials say 7 suicide bombers blew up 3 Christian churches during Easter celebrations, and 3 luxury hotels.

290 people dead. Over 500 wounded.

Sri Lankan officials have blamed the terrorist attack on a local militant group named National Thowfeek Jamaath.

Officials say the group hasn’t carried out any serious attacks before, but add that the complexity, and sophistication of the suicide bombings has them investigating the potential role of any international terror groups.

39 foreigners have been identified among the dead. Some from the U.S, Portugal and Britain. So far, no word of any Canadian victims.

Justin Trudeau released a statement yesterday condemning the terrorist attacks. Today, U.S. President Donald Trump says he has spoken with Sri Lankan government officials.

“Its a terrible terrible thing.”

In his Easter Monday address in Vatican City, Pope Frances condemned the attacks and prayed for the victims and wounded.

In recent years tourism has boomed in Sri Lanka, known for its Buddhist temples, beaches and wild life.

The capital city’s airport is still operating despite the bombings, but a nation-wide curfew has been imposed. Global Affairs Canada is warning Canadians travelling to the country to exercise extreme caution saying the situation is volatile and that more bombings could occur.

So far 24 people have been arrested in connection with the explosions.

Its been reported that Sri Lanka’s security forces were warned of the church bombings 10 days before, but took no action. A leaked police advisory dated April 11 documented a threat from the radical group that has since been linked to the attacks. The mistake being called a catastrophic intelligence failure.