Motilal Oswal
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In tearful ceremony, Sri Lanka Catholics mark one month since bombings

Updated : 2019-05-21 15:09:17

Weeping Sri Lankan Catholics lit candles and prayed in a memorial service outside a bombed church on Tuesday, one month after Easter bombings by Islamist militants killed more than 250 people. The April 21 attacks, claimed by militant group Islamic State, targeted three churches and three luxury hotels, shocking the island and shattering a decade of relative peace after the end of a 25-year civil war. Hundreds of worshippers, including survivors and relatives of the victims, gathered outside St. Anthony's Shrine, a Catholic church in the capital, Colombo, for the ceremony. The navy is repairing the white-painted church, which is covered in scaffolding, and police with sniffer dogs patrolled the area. Some Christian schools also re-opened on Tuesday amid tight security. The city's archbishop had complained about insufficient security around churches, and many parents have kept their children at home for fears of renewed attacks. Authorities say the threat of more Islamist militant attacks has been contained and that security services have dismantled most of the network linked to the Easter Sunday bombings.

A devotee cries while praying in front of St Anthony's church, one of the churches attacked in the April 21st Easter Sunday Islamic militant bombings, during the first-month remembrance service, in Colombo, Sri Lanka May 21, 2019. (Reuters)
A devotee cries while praying in front of St Anthony's church, one of the churches attacked in the April 21st Easter Sunday Islamic militant bombings, during the first-month remembrance service, in Colombo, Sri Lanka May 21, 2019. (Reuters)
A devotee cries while praying in front of St Anthony's church, one of the churches attacked in the April 21st Easter Sunday Islamic militant bombings, during the first-month remembrance service, in Colombo, Sri Lanka May 21, 2019. (Reuters)
A devotee cries while praying in front of St Anthony's church, one of the churches attacked in the April 21st Easter Sunday Islamic militant bombings, during the first-month remembrance service, in Colombo, Sri Lanka May 21, 2019. (Reuters)
Devotees pray in front of St Anthony's church, one of the churches attacked in the April 21st Easter Sunday Islamic militant bombings, during the first-month remembrance service, in Colombo, Sri Lanka May 21, 2019. (Reuters)
Devotees pray in front of St Anthony's church, one of the churches attacked in the April 21st Easter Sunday Islamic militant bombings, during the first-month remembrance service, in Colombo, Sri Lanka May 21, 2019. (Reuters)
Devotees light candles while praying in front of St Anthony's church, one of the churches attacked in the April 21st Easter Sunday Islamic militant bombings, during the first-month remembrance service, in Colombo, Sri Lanka May 21, 2019. (Reuters)
Devotees light candles while praying in front of St Anthony's church, one of the churches attacked in the April 21st Easter Sunday Islamic militant bombings, during the first-month remembrance service, in Colombo, Sri Lanka May 21, 2019. (Reuters)
Devotees cry while praying in front of St Anthony's church, one of the churches attacked in the April 21st Easter Sunday Islamic militant bombings, during the first month remembrance service, in Colombo, Sri Lanka May 21, 2019. (Reuters)
Devotees cry while praying in front of St Anthony's church, one of the churches attacked in the April 21st Easter Sunday Islamic militant bombings, during the first month remembrance service, in Colombo, Sri Lanka May 21, 2019. (Reuters)
A nun arrives as a Sri Lankan Air Force soldier stands near the entrance of St Joseph's Catholic school, after all Catholic schools reopened a month since the April 21st Easter Sunday Islamic militant bomb attacks in Colombo, Sri Lanka May 21, 2019. (Reuters)
A nun arrives as a Sri Lankan Air Force soldier stands near the entrance of St Joseph's Catholic school, after all Catholic schools reopened a month since the April 21st Easter Sunday Islamic militant bomb attacks in Colombo, Sri Lanka May 21, 2019. (Reuters)
A student walks past a Sri Lankan Air Force soldier at the entrance of St Joseph's Catholic school, after all Catholic schools reopened a month since the April 21st Easter Sunday Islamic militant bomb attacks in Colombo, Sri Lanka May 21, 2019. (Reuters)
A student walks past a Sri Lankan Air Force soldier at the entrance of St Joseph's Catholic school, after all Catholic schools reopened a month since the April 21st Easter Sunday Islamic militant bomb attacks in Colombo, Sri Lanka May 21, 2019. (Reuters)
A Sri Lankan Air Force soldier stands guard at the entrance of St Joseph's Catholic school, as a student opens his bag for inspection, after all Catholic schools reopened a month since the Easter Sunday Islamic militant bomb attacks on the 21st of April in Colombo, Sri Lanka May 21, 2019. (Reuters)
A Sri Lankan Air Force soldier stands guard at the entrance of St Joseph's Catholic school, as a student opens his bag for inspection, after all Catholic schools reopened a month since the Easter Sunday Islamic militant bomb attacks on the 21st of April in Colombo, Sri Lanka May 21, 2019. (Reuters)
A Sri Lankan Air Force soldier stands guard at the entrance of St Joseph's Catholic school, after all Catholic schools reopened a month since the Easter Sunday Islamic militant bomb attacks on the 21st of April in Colombo, Sri Lanka May 21, 2019. (Reuters)
A Sri Lankan Air Force soldier stands guard at the entrance of St Joseph's Catholic school, after all Catholic schools reopened a month since the Easter Sunday Islamic militant bomb attacks on the 21st of April in Colombo, Sri Lanka May 21, 2019. (Reuters)
A Sri Lankan Air Force soldier stands guard at the entrance of St Joseph's Catholic school, as staff search students' bags, after all Catholic schools reopened a month since the Easter Sunday Islamic militant bomb attacks on the 21st of April in Colombo, Sri Lanka May 21, 2019. (Reuters)
A Sri Lankan Air Force soldier stands guard at the entrance of St Joseph's Catholic school, as staff search students' bags, after all Catholic schools reopened a month since the Easter Sunday Islamic militant bomb attacks on the 21st of April in Colombo, Sri Lanka May 21, 2019. (Reuters)
A devotee cries while praying in front of St Anthony's church, one of the churches attacked in the April 21st Easter Sunday Islamic militant bombings, during the first-month remembrance service, in Colombo, Sri Lanka May 21, 2019. (Reuters)
A devotee cries while praying in front of St Anthony's church, one of the churches attacked in the April 21st Easter Sunday Islamic militant bombings, during the first-month remembrance service, in Colombo, Sri Lanka May 21, 2019. (Reuters)
A devotee cries while praying in front of St Anthony's church, one of the churches attacked in the April 21st Easter Sunday Islamic militant bombings, during the first-month remembrance service, in Colombo, Sri Lanka May 21, 2019. (Reuters)
A devotee cries while praying in front of St Anthony's church, one of the churches attacked in the April 21st Easter Sunday Islamic militant bombings, during the first-month remembrance service, in Colombo, Sri Lanka May 21, 2019. (Reuters)
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