Lanka cuts down toll to 254
International

Lanka cuts down toll to 254

S.Murari

Sri Lanka has scaled down the death toll in serial bomb blasts in churches and hotels on Easter Sunday by 100 and said it will be around 254.

Quoting health ministry, the BBC has said it has blamed the earlier higher figure on calculation error. Eight simultaneous blasts carried out by nine suicide bombers killed not only Sri Lankans, but also foreigners, Including as many as ten Indians

The ninth bomber blew him up when police raided his hideout in Colombo. BBC said police has arrested 70 persons so far and are continuing raids across the country. It has also released photographs of seven persons wanted in connection with the attacks.

Meanwhile, owning up responsibility for the intelligence failure, the Defence Secretary resigned on Thursday as directed by President Maithripala Sirisena. Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando told Reuters that though there was no failure on his part,he was owning responsibility for failure of some institutions under his control

The Catholic Church has announced suspension of all church services. Meanwhile the UK Foreign Office has issued a travel advisory asking its nationals to visit Sri Lanka only if it is essential. Another worrying aspect for the west is the fact that one of the attackers studied in UK and Australia.

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