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Easter Sunday blasts in Sri Lanka: Authorities ignored intelligence memo that warned of attacks; alert was circulated day before explosions

Colombo: A memo that warned of a potential attack was circulated a day before the deadly explosions in Sri Lanka, reports CNN. The memo dated 11 April was signed by Sri Lanka's deputy inspector general of police.

Titled 'Information of an Alleged Plan Attack', the memo stated: "The State Intelligence service stated that information has been received regarding an alleged plan of suicidal attack by the leader of 'Nations Thawahid Jaman Mohomad Saharan.'"

 Easter Sunday blasts in Sri Lanka: Authorities ignored intelligence memo that warned of attacks; alert was circulated day before explosions

A string of blasts ripped through high-end hotels and churches holding Easter services in Sri Lanka on Sunday.
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"According to information from that statement, would like you to give special attention and inform your staff to provide special security measures to the areas covered by your division," it read.

The warning was ignored and no action was taken.

Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also acknowledged that there was prior information, but he was not informed about it.

Demanding serious action as to why the warning was ignored, Minister of Telecommunication of Sri Lanka Harin Fernando said, "Some intelligence officers were aware of this incident. There was a delay in action. What my father heard was also from an intelligence officer. Serious action needs to be taken as to why this warning was ignored."

At least 207 people were killed and hundreds of others suffered injuries in a series of eight explosions in churches and high-end hotels in Sri Lanka. At least 30 people, among the deceased, are believed to be foreigners, according to Sri Lankan authorities.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks yet.

Several countries, including India, Unites States and the United Kingdom have condemned the attacks.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan Special Task Force raided a house in Colombo's Orugodawatta in connection with the blasts. Authorities earlier arrested seven people in connection with the attacks.

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Updated Date: Apr 22, 2019 08:24:00 IST