Sri Lankan priests and policemen look at the debris of a car after it explodes on Monday. Jewel Samad/AFP
Sri Lankan police detained a Syrian among 40 people being questioned about the Easter on Sunday attacks on churches and hotels, government and military sources said on Tuesday, as the toll from the coordinated bomb attacks rose to 321.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which officials said were carried out by at least seven suicide bombers on three churches and four hotels. About 500 people were also wounded.
Sri Lanka falls silent for victims of attack
However, the focus of suspicion is falling on militants with links to foreign groups. US intelligence sources said the attacks bore some of the hallmarks of the Daesh extremist group.
Tuesday was declared a national day of mourning and the funerals of some of the victims were held as pressure mounted on the government over why effective action had not been taken in response to a warning this month about a possible attack on churches by a little-known domestic militant group.
Police said the number of people arrested since Sunday had risen to 40, most of them Sri Lankans. The investigation of those detainees had led to the Syrian, three government and military sources told Reuters.
"He was arrested after the interrogation of local suspects," one of the sources said.
The first six attacks — on three churches and three luxury hotels - came within 20 minutes on Sunday morning during Easter services and as hotels served breakfast.
Two more explosions - at a down-market hotel and a house in a suburb of the capital, Colombo - came in the early afternoon.
Most of the dead and wounded were Sri Lankans, although government officials said 38 foreigners were killed. That included British, U.S., Australian, Turkish, Indian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch and Portuguese nationals.
Daesh's claim, issued on its AMAQ news agency, came shortly after Sri Lanka said two domestic militant groups, with suspected links to foreign militants, were believed to have been behind the attacks at three churches and four hotels, which wounded about 500 people.
The deadly blasts in churches in Sri Lanka that killed and wounded hundreds on Easter Sunday is a grim reminder that evil minded people are hell bent in instilling fear in the minds of the faithfuls.
The family was stunned, grieving — and angry. They had just buried three of their own, an elderly couple and their 11-year-old grandson who were killed in their church pews Easter morning, and they lashed out at the government.
Ismail Berabih lost his mother two years ago, and he entered into a state of great shock and sadness, and decided to sleep next to her grave every day, according to Algerian local media.
A snowy avalanche in northern Pakistan killed 11 people on Saturday, including a 4-year-old boy, and injured 25 from a nomadic tribe as they crossed a mountainous area with their goat herds, police said.
At least 50 children — at least two dozen of them babies - have died at the orphanage in the six weeks since the war broke out in mid-April, according to Dr Abdullah.
“Every story comes to an end and this is only the beginning of a new era for our country (Saudi Arabia) and our region.so just like to thanks everyone who had helped us,” Rayana Barnawi said.