Authorities in Sri Lanka have arrested a Saudi-educated preacher over links with the suspected mastermind of bombings last month, throwing a spotlight on the role of Salafi-Wahhabi terrorism in South Asia.
Sri Lanka’s $4.4 billion tourism industry is reeling from cancellations as travelers shun the sun and sand Indian Ocean island after multiple suicide bombings that killed over 250 people two weeks ago.
Fifteen people including six children were died during a raid on their home by Sri Lankan security forces in which three cornered suicide bombers detonated their explosives and others traded gunfire with police.
As mourners buried the remains of Christian worshippers killed by the Easter Sunday suicide bomb attacks in Sri Lanka, hundreds of Muslim refugees fled Negombo on the country’s west coast where communal tensions have flared in recent days.
Sri Lanka failed to stop massively deadly bombings in the country on Sunday due to a “major lapse” in the sharing of intelligence already available to authorities, the country’s deputy defense minister has acknowledged, as the death toll from the attacks rises to 359.
Sri Lanka faces a likely collapse in tourism following Easter Sunday bomb attacks on churches and hotels, which would deal a severe blow to the island’s economy and financial markets, and potentially force it to seek further IMF assistance.
Sri Lanka said on Monday it was invoking emergency powers in the aftermath of devastating bomb attacks on hotels and churches, blamed on militants with foreign links, in which 290 people were killed and nearly 500 wounded.