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Sri Lanka's Defence Chief Resigns Over Suicide Bomber Attacks

© REUTERS / Dinuka LiyanawatteCoffins of victims are carried during a mass for victims, two days after a string of suicide bomb attacks on churches and luxury hotels across the island on Easter Sunday, in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 23, 2019.
Coffins of victims are carried during a mass for victims, two days after a string of suicide bomb attacks on churches and luxury hotels across the island on Easter Sunday, in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 23, 2019. - Sputnik International
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Sunday's suicide bombings on churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka killed at least 359 people and injured roughly 500.

Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando has stepped down, taking responsibility for the Easter deadly terror attacks on the country, Reuters reports.

According to the minister, Sri Lankan security agencies were actively responding to the advance warning they had received about the possibility of attacks. "We were working on that. All those agencies were working on that," he was quoted as saying.

Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena has earlier asked for the resignation of Hemasiri Fernando and Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara.

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The government conceded that there had been a "colossal failure in the communication of this intelligence" to the agencies who could have taken measures to prevent what happened.

A series of explosions ravaged Sri Lanka on Sunday, targeting several churches and hotels in the country's capital Colombo and other cities. According to media reports, the attacks have claimed the lives of at least 359 people, while over 500 have been injured and hospitalised.

Daesh claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks on 23 April, but the country's government had blamed them on a local Islamist group National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ), with Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene suggesting that the rampage was a response to the mosque shooting in New Zealand's Christchurch, which targeted Muslims.    

*Daesh (aka IS/ISIS/Islamic State) is a terror group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.

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