The local terror group National Thowheeth Jama'ath (NTJ) is behind the series of attacks on Easter Monday in Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan Health Minister announced on Monday.
The Sri Lankan government also assumes that the terror group has been helped by an international network of terrorists. Exactly who the perpetrators were is not known.
The attacks have still not been claimed, but the Sri Lankan authorities immediately spoke of a terrorist act on Sunday. The NTJ was also mentioned then. The group of radical Muslims was also held responsible for the destruction of Buddhist images last year.
At least 290 people died in the attacks, including a 54-year-old Dutch woman. Five hundred others were injured.
118Overview: Sri Lanka hit by bloody attacks
"At least seven suicide bombers involved in attacks"
According to a forensic expert from the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defense, at least seven suicide bombers were involved in six of the eight attacks. It is about explosions in three churches and three five-star hotels.
This would be apparent from the remains found at the attack locations. Two attackers were allegedly involved in the Shangri-La hotel in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo, one in the other five locations.
Up to 24 people have been arrested in connection with the attacks. During one police raid, three officers died on Sunday as a result of a suicide attack.
Churches were full due to Easter
The first attack took place on Sunday morning around 10 a.m. local time in a Negombo church, north of Colombo. Also targeted were churches in Kochchikade, on the west coast, and in Batticaloa, on the east coast of the island. In connection with Easter celebrations it was very busy in the prayer houses.
In addition to the Shangri-La hotel, there were also explosions at the Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand hotels. Many foreign tourists stayed in these hotels, all three located in the center of Colombo.
Another explosive was found at Colombo airport on Sunday evening. This bomb has been made harmless.