Colombo, April 22 (IANS): The Sri Lankan government on Monday said that it will hold an official funeral to pay tributes to the nearly 300 people killed in a series of suicide bombings on churches and hotels on Easter Sunday.
The funeral will be held on Tuesday at the Katuwapitya church in Negambo, a few kilometres to the north of Colombo, Efe news reported.
“We have to carry out the last rites quickly. We have tried our best, we are sorting out all the legal issues that have to be addressed regarding the deaths and have the funerals tomorrow (Tuesday),” Tourism Minister John Amarathunga told reporters.
“I assure (you) that the Sri Lankan government is doing everything it can,” said the Minister in front of the National Hospital, where most of the victims have been transferred.
According to the latest toll from the authorities, the number of people dead increased to 290. Another 500 had been injured.
At least 32 foreigners were among the dead killed and another 30 have been hospitalized.
The attacks began with six coordinated bomb blasts at 8.45 a.m. at three luxury hotels in Colombo and three churches around the country during Easter services.
A few hours later, a seventh blast rocked a small hotel near the Dehiwala Zoo, about 12 km south of the capital, while an eighth explosion took place at a residential compound in Dematagoda in Colombo.
Some 24 people have been arrested in connection with the bombings, which are yet to be claimed by any group and can damage the tourism sector in the island country.
Amarathunga said they have detained the people behind the attacks and soon they would know who they were as well as their motivations.