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Lanka PM apologises for failure to prevent Easter bombings

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday apologised to public for failing to prevent the Easter bombings that left 253 people dead and several hundreds injured.

A series of eight coordinated blasts ripped through three churches and three high-end hotels frequented by tourists in the country's deadliest violence since the devastating civil war ended in 2009.

The attacks have exposed a massive intelligence failure by Sri Lanka. The country's police chief Pujith Jayasundara and defence secretary Hemasiri Fernando have both resigned over their failure to prevent the blasts despite having prior intelligence.

In a tweet, Wickremesinghe said, "We take collective responsibility and apologise to our fellow citizens for our failure to protect victims of these tragic events."

"We pledge to rebuild our churches, revive our economy, and take all measures to prevent terrorism, with the support of the international community," he added.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the Easter terror attacks on three Catholic churches and three luxury hotels but the government has blamed a local Islamist extremist group, National Tawheed Jamath (NTJ), for the bombings.

On Thursday, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said Indian authorities shared "actionable" intelligence with Sri Lanka before the serial blasts rocked the neighbouring country.

"Desired and actionable inputs were shared with the authorities in Sri Lanka prior to the blasts. But unfortunately, they (plotters) succeeded," Singh said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 26 2019. 22:20 IST