Catholic services in Sri Lanka postponed over threat of new attacks

  02 May 2019    Read: 1378
Catholic services in Sri Lanka postponed over threat of new attacks

The Catholic Church of Sri Lanka retracted its recent decision to resume Sunday services in some churches from 5 May amid a continuing high level of the terrorist threat in the country, the Ada Derana portal reported on Thursday, citing Edmund Tillakaratne, spokesman for the Colombo diocese.

It was not specified when the church services would be resumed.

The statement comes two days after Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith announced that the first Sunday services after the series of deadly terrorist attacks on the island would be held in some churches of the country from May 5. It was assumed that henceforth, parishioners would not be allowed to carry bags into the church for security reasons. In addition, according to the cleric, special "vigilance committees" will be created at the churches, whose members will oversee security issues. Visitors who are not parishioners will have to show their ID at the entrance to the church, the cardinal said.

A series of explosions hit the country on Easter Sunday, 21 April, leaving hundreds of people killed and injured. Three more explosions rocked the country's eastern city of Kalmunai on 26 April. The Daesh terrorist group has reportedly claimed responsibility for both attacks.

The Easter Sunday bombings devastated the nation and shocked the whole world. In the week since the event, Sri Lankan authorities have made over 100 arrests in connection with the bombings and warned the nation on Tuesday that Daesh militants were currently planning more attacks.

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