People react as silence is observed as a tribute to victims during a memorial service in Colombo. File Photo/Reuters
Weeping Sri Lankan Catholics lit candles and prayed in a memorial service outside a bombed church on Tuesday, one month after Easter bombings by militants killed more than 250 people.
The April 21 attacks, claimed by militant group Daesh, targeted three churches and three luxury hotels, shocking the island and shattering a decade of relative peace after the end of a 25-year civil war.
Hundreds of worshippers, including survivors and relatives of the victims, gathered outside St. Anthony's Shrine, a Catholic church in the capital, Colombo, for the ceremony.
"I did not want to come here," said Gloria, one of those attending, as she wiped away tears.
"But we came to remember our daddy who left us," added the 17-year-old, who was accompanied by her mother and 14-year-old sister, Sophia.
Gloria, who declined to give her surname, said she lost consciousness during the attack, and opened her eyes to see her sister crawling towards her and her father bleeding.
The navy is repairing the white-painted church, which is covered in scaffolding, and police with sniffer dogs patrolled the area.
Some Christian schools also re-opened on Tuesday amid tight security. The city's archbishop had complained about insufficient security around churches, and many parents have kept their children at home for fears of renewed attacks.
Authorities say the threat of more militant attacks has been contained and that security services have dismantled most of the network linked to the Easter Sunday bombings.
A uthorities in Sri Lanka on Monday banned women from wearing face veils under an emergency law put in place after deadly Easter Sunday attacks by militants. The measures would help security forces to identify people as a hunt for any remaining
Sri Lanka’s Catholic Church will televise a private on Sunday mass after cancelling regular services over fears of a repeat of Easter suicide bombings that killed 257 people, a spokesman said.
Sri Lanka on Saturday extended a law granting security forces emergency powers into third month following the Easter Day bomb attacks on hotels and churches that killed more than 250 people.
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