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Sri Lanka detains suspects, fears retaliatory attacks

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 4/25/19, 12:14 pm

Sri Lankan authorities on Thursday detained the father of two suspected suicide bombers on suspicion of aiding his sons in the Easter Sunday attacks that killed more than 350 people. Former navy chief Jayanath Colombage confirmed police arrested Mohamed Yusuf Ibrahim, a prominent spice trader. His sons were among the nine bombers who targeted hotels and churches on Sunday in Sri Lanka as Christians gathered to celebrate Easter.

The number of arrests related to the bombings rose to 76, including one Syrian national, police said Thursday. Several churches and businesses in the capital city, Colombo, and in Negombo, remained closed.

Muslims in the country braced for retaliatory attacks after Islamic State claimed responsibility and authorities blamed a local Islamic militant group for the violence. Some mosques stopped broadcasting prayer calls over loudspeakers, while others asked police to guard their gates ahead of Friday prayers.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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  • OldMike
    Posted: Thu, 04/25/2019 05:16 pm

    I am praying Sri Lankan Christians do not take it on themselves to “avenge” this terrorism.  

    On another note, I’m noticing something interesting in other news media about these terrorist bombings.  Both Obama and HRC expressed sympathy (or solidarity, or whatever!) with “Easter worshippers” who died or were hurt. And I’ve seen explanations from commentators on the Right that make sense, at least to me.  

    It seems prominent persons on the left avoid using the name/word “Christian” in any context where it might appear they are saying anything even remotely positive or sympathetic to Christians. For instance they almost never refer to persecution of “Christians”, but rather “persecution of religious minorities,” etc.  This also seems to be prominent in the “mainstream” media.  Thus, the oblique references to Christians as Easter Worshippers.

    Similarly, it appears they never use the names “Muslim,” “Islam,” etc. when they refer to bombings and other terrorist acts. 

    A couple of commentators have said there’s a lefty code that they never say anything complimentary about Christianity, nor anything critical about Islam. 

    Hmmm...  I sure don’t want to invest the time to do an actual internet search and tally, but perhaps someone else might like to do that, prove me wrong. West Coast Gramma?  Hans?  John Kloosterman?

  • VR
    Posted: Thu, 04/25/2019 07:07 pm

    It is ironic that the Sri Lankan government  took no precautions to protect churches and hotels in response to credible intelligence reports about pending Islamist attacks, yet they are taking precautions to protect mosques against possible (but unlikely) retaliation by Christians.

  • OldMike
    Posted: Sat, 04/27/2019 01:52 am

    Not sure this indicates anti-Christian bias. Before the attacks, the intelligence seemed to be too vague to act on; actual attacks certainly confirm the danger.