COLOMBO: Eight Indians have been killed in a string of devastating suicide blasts that struck churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, the biggest casualty figure among the 31 foreigners who died in the attack, according to figures released by the Lankan foreign ministry on Monday.
Seven suicide bombers believed to be members of an Islamist extremist group - the National Tawheed Jamath (NTJ) - carried out a series blasts that tore through three churches and luxury hotels on Sunday, killing 290 people and wounding 500 others, including Indians, in the country's worst terror attack.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but police have so far arrested 24 people - mostly members of the local Islamist extremist group called the National Tawheed Jamath (NTJ) - in connection with the blasts.
Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry, in a statement, said that as of Monday, April 22, 2019, the number of foreign nationals who have been killed is 31.
"It includes, eight from India, six from the United Kingdom, two each from China, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, one each from France, Japan, Bangladesh, the Netherlands and Spain while two others holding dual nationalities of the US and the UK and two holding dual citizenship of Australia and Sri Lanka," the statement said.
The ministry further added that at present, 14 foreign nationals are unaccounted for and could be among the unidentified victims at the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer's mortuary.
Meanwhile, Director General of Health Services Dr Anil Jasinghe said that the post mortem examinations, being performed in the presence of six judicial medical officers and two magistrates, of the blast victims are in the final stage.
Out of the 102 bodies received at the Negombo General Hospital 92 have been handed over to the relatives, Jasinghe said.
Post mortems on 89 out of 140 bodies at the Colombo National Hospital are over and no one has turned up for identification of 35 bodies.
Also, 20 bodies of foreign nationals were yet to be identified at the Colombo National Hospital, where at least 22 foreigners received treatment, following the blasts.
Similarly, at the Batticoloa Hospital, post mortems have been concluded on 23 of the 29 bodies it received, the official said.