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Tuesday, May 07, 2019, 18:14
All directly involved in Sri Lanka attacks dead or arrested
By Associated Press
Tuesday, May 07, 2019, 18:14 By Associated Press

A Sri Lankan Catholic family follows a telecast holy mass at their residence in Colombo, Sri Lanka, May 5, 2019. (ERANGA JAYAWARDENA / AP)

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Two bomb experts were among the suicide attackers who struck churches and hotels on Easter in Sri Lanka and all those directly involved in the bombings are either dead or under arrest, police said.

The Easter bombings in Sri Lanka killed 257 people and wounded hundreds at three churches and three hotels

Acting police chief CD Wickramaratne also said in a statement late Monday that explosives the Islamic State-linked group stacked for use in more attacks have been seized.

The bombings killed 257 people and wounded hundreds at three churches and three hotels. Seven suicide bombers died at their targets while another exploded his device later at a guesthouse after his device failed at a leading tourist hotel. A ninth killed herself to avoid capture by police at her home.

ALSO READ: Catholic services in Sri Lanka capital canceled for 2nd week

Police have detained 73 suspects for investigations since the bombings and have seized stocks of explosives, improvised explosives devices and hundreds of swords. Also they have found US$140,000 in cash in bank accounts connected to the group and another US$40 million worth of assets in land, houses, vehicles and jewelry.

A Sri Lankan naval soldier stands guard as Catholic devotees pray at the St Anthony's church after it was partially opened for the first time since Easter Sunday attacks, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, May 7, 2019. (ERANGA JAYAWARDENA / AP)

Authorities had repeatedly said another attack from the extremist group was possible.

Sri Lanka's Catholic church hierarchy closed churches for a second weekend on Sunday as the faithful celebrated Mass from home watching live on television.

But on Tuesday, one of the churches targeted in the attacks, St Anthony's Shrine in Colombo, opened a section of the church to the public for the first time since the bombing, enabling devotees to pray in the church as was customary every Tuesday.

Catholic schools remain closed until further notice after reports said two of their locations were to be attacked last weekend.

Government-run schools reopened for students of higher classes Monday but fewer students attended out of fear.

READ MORE: Sri Lanka maintains high alert for attacks ahead of Ramadan

Sri Lankan army soldiers and police stand guard on a road in a Muslim neighborhood following overnight clashes in Poruthota, a village in Negombo, about 35 kilometers North of Colombo, Sri Lanka, May 6, 2019. (ERANGA JAYAWARDENA / AP)

Army Commander Mahesh Senanayake on Monday urged the public to resume normal activities trusting in the security forces.

"I ask the people not to fear unnecessarily, not to believe rumors...believe in the tri-forces and police that defeated one of deadliest terrorist organizations in the world," he said of the ethnic Tamil separatists who fought a 26-year civil war. The conflict ended 10 years ago.

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