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WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo?

Hundreds dead in Sri Lanka bombings on Easter Sunday

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WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo?

Over 200 people were killed in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, in a series of bombings in churches and hotels. 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/world/coordinated-explosions-rock-three-churches-and-two-hotels-in-sri-lanka-on-easter-sunday/2019/04/21/a09002a0-63f6-11e9-9ff2-abc984dc9eec_story.html

The Washington Post article doesn't definitely say that the motive behind these bombs was to target Christians, but given that more than one of the targets was a Christian church and that they took place on the most important holy day in the Christian calendar, it seems probable. 

(It's such a dumb side note, but I want to shake some of "our" fundies here in the US who cry "persecution" when their barrista says, "Happy Holidays!" Bombs in your church are persecution. Shootings at your mosque are persecution. Shootings at your synagogue are persecution. Grow the fuck up, your dim dipshits.)

I guess I'm going to check this story periodically today, in between the egg hunt and the cozy family meal we have planned. And keep the people of Sri Lanka in my heart all day.

Edited by WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo?
removed unnecessary "the"
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Bethella

A friend’s brother works for the State Department at the Embassy in Columbo. He’s okay but it sounds pretty chaotic, they were trying to determine if any Americans were among those killed or injured.

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WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo?
6 minutes ago, HerNameIsBuffy said:

Thank you for posting this, it's heartbreaking.

I agree; it breaks mine, too. I was having a lazy morning, perusing FJ when I got a notification from my local news ap. It puts a different perspective on the day for me. I'll probably give all the family an extra hug at the get-together.

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Syriana

It really is heartbreaking, it's also a sharp reminder that not everyone has the freedom to practice their faith in relative freedom and safety.  Easter Sunday should be about joy and a renewal of faith, not counting your dead and injured.

I don't understand the people who commit these atrocities, I'm not certain that I really want to.

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Briefly

I actually had not heard any news, I usually do during the day but we just had a quiet day and never got around to turning on the tv.  At the moment, I turned on the local news at 5:00 and they didn't report it until just now (5:10).  I went to a news site online and read this.  It's horrible.  Nobody has claimed responsibility yet.

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Ozlsn

Apparently they had some prior intelligence that attacks were possible. 13 arrested so far and the State Minister of Defence has apparently urged the media not to publicise the names of the attackers in case other groups try to use it to create further tension. Leaders from all four of the main Sri Lankan religions have condemned the attacks. 

Like the Christchurch attacks, these were people peacefully worshipping. I wish the nutjobs would just fuck off somewhere isolated by themselves and leave the rest of us to mostly get along OK. 

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Satan'sFortress

Almost 300 dead and 500 injured.  It seems like it is barely being covered on the news and I don't understand why not.  If this had happened in London or Paris, it would be getting constant coverage.  This is so heartbreaking.

 

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Briefly
1 hour ago, Satan'sFortress said:

Almost 300 dead and 500 injured.  It seems like it is barely being covered on the news and I don't understand why not.  If this had happened in London or Paris, it would be getting constant coverage.  This is so heartbreaking.

 

What we are now hearing on the local news is the Islamic terrorist angle.  Which is what usually happens.  Every religion or group has it's fringe.  It's not just one particular group, they all have it.

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HerNameIsBuffy
12 minutes ago, Briefly said:

What we are now hearing on the local news is the Islamic terrorist angle.  Which is what usually happens.  Every religion or group has it's fringe.  It's not just one particular group, they all have it.

True - but if that's who is responsible they have to cover it.

Last I checked earlier today they were thinking there was an international component to the planning.  Does anyone know if it's been confirmed?

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Briefly
2 minutes ago, HerNameIsBuffy said:

True - but if that's who is responsible they have to cover it.

Last I checked earlier today they were thinking there was an international component to the planning.  Does anyone know if it's been confirmed?

I understand that it has to be reported.  It's just that the news on the radio was the local Fox affiliate and they were emphasizing the Islamic terrorist angle.

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HerNameIsBuffy
Just now, Briefly said:

I understand that it has to be reported.  It's just that the news on the radio was the local Fox affiliate and they were emphasizing the Islamic terrorist angle.

Gotcha.  I avoid Fox anything but I can imagine.

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WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo?
4 hours ago, HerNameIsBuffy said:

Last I checked earlier today they were thinking there was an international component to the planning.  Does anyone know if it's been confirmed?

I didn't find anything confirming international involvement, just heavy suspicion. If authorities in Sri Lanka or the US have any proof, they aren't making it public at this time. From a BBC News article:

Quote

Suspicion of international support

 

Mr Senaratne said that authorities believed the bombers had international support. "We do not believe these attacks were carried out by a group of people who were confined to this country," he said, adding: "There was an international network without which these attacks could not have succeeded."

 

A later statement said President Maithripala Sirisena would ask for foreign help to track down the international links to the attackers.

 

"The intelligence reports [indicate] that foreign terrorist organisations are behind the local terrorists. Therefore, the president is to seek the assistance of the foreign countries," his office said.

I also found mentions of US intelligence's preliminary conclusions in a CNN post, but I'm less trusting of CNN's objectivity than I used to be.

Quote

A government spokesman, Rajitha Senaratne, revealed that warnings were received in the days before the attacks, which killed 310 people and injured at least 500 more, including from foreign intelligence services.

 

He said one of the warnings referred to National Tawheed Jamath, or NTJ, a little-known local Islamist group that defaced Buddhist statues in the past. But Senaratne, who is also health minister, said he did not believe a local group could have acted alone.

 

"There must be a wider international network behind it," he said.

 

No group has yet claimed responsibility.

 

The United States believes it has identified a key terrorist operative in the attacks, and has initially concluded that the person has connections to international terrorism organizations, including ISIS, two US officials directly familiar with the initial US intelligence assessment said.

 

These connections are a key reason the US has come to an early conclusion the attacks were inspired by ISIS, according to one of the two officials. For now, the US is trying to figure out just how involved ISIS may have been in facilitating the attacks, the official said.

I found this timeline and visual guide from The Guardian generally helpful. The Guardian seems to have lots of coverage.

I'm not as familiar with The Guardian. Does anyone have an opinion about their coverage of news in general, and bias or non-bias?

Edited by WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo?
clarity

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laPapessaGiovanna
26 minutes ago, WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo? said:

I'm not as familiar with The Guardian. Does anyone have an opinion about their coverage of news in general, and bias or non-bias?

I like the Guardian, they do a decent job, their breaking news coverage is usually very good. I followed this attack in Sri Lanka on their site (my aunt is a Catholic missionary in Sri Lanka, she is fine and wasn't even near to the attacked areas) and they are very good at live coverage. Generally speaking they lean to the left.

Edited by laPapessaGiovanna
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Ozlsn
8 hours ago, Satan'sFortress said:

Almost 300 dead and 500 injured.  It seems like it is barely being covered on the news and I don't understand why not.  If this had happened in London or Paris, it would be getting constant coverage.  This is so heartbreaking.

It's getting huge coverage here (Australia) but we have a really large Sri Lankan expat (especially student) and migrant population. To be honest I was surprised there have only been two Australian deaths (and two injured) so far, although hopefully there won't be any more. It is so bad, and I understand why they are trying to keep a lid on local (Sri Lankan I mean) speculation. I really hope this doesn't lead to more religious conflict. I think the saddest statement I've read was "it was such a shock - we'd gotten used to peace in the last ten years."

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Syriana

The death toll now over 300 according to the new this morning - utterly heinous crime and devasting consequences.

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laPapessaGiovanna

321 confirmed dead, 500 injured, it was a horrid massacre. Today is national mourning day in Sri Lanka, the dead are being buried and mourned.

26 minutes ago, apple1 said:

Apparently ISIS gave zero evidence backing their claim that came 2 days after the attacks. Also ISIS has often claimed responsibility for attacks that weren't linked to them. So there are many doubts about who the perpetrators were and what were their reasons.

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Satan'sFortress
6 hours ago, apple1 said:

That is horrid.  I imagine that if you were able to interview the dead from the New Zealand massacre, this is not a retaliation they would have wanted. 

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laPapessaGiovanna

There's no respite for Sri Lanka

😞 There are 15 dead in a shootout following a police raid. Police was looking for the terrorists.

Spoiler

15 people are dead and two or more suspected terrorists on the run after a shootout between police and alleged militants in eastern Sri Lanka late Friday.

There were three explosions during the shootout with suspects at a house in the town of Sainthamaruthu, Kalmunai, local police said. Authorities said they seized a large cache of explosives, 100,000 ball bearings and ISIS uniforms and flags from the house, which appeared to be a bomb making factory or storage facility.

The raids came after the coordinated attacks on Easter Sunday, which killed 253 people, including many worshipers attending Easter Mass services.

National Tawheed Jamath (NTJ), a local extremist group, has been blamed for the bombings, but has not claimed the attacks. ISIS claimed responsibility, but a link between the attackers and the terror group has not been proven.

Of the 15 people found dead in the house following the raid, six are suspected terrorists and nine are civilians, including six children, Maj. Gen. Aruna Jayasekera said.

Police are investigating the possible relationship of the civilians to the suspected terrorists.

One wounded suspect fled on a motorbike, and another suspected terrorist could be on the run as well, Jayasekera said.

One of the six suspected terrorists found dead has been identified as Mohamed Niyas, known to the authorities as a prominent member of the NTJ. Earlier in a statement from the army, Niyas was identified as the brother-in-law of the alleged ringleader of the Easter Sunday attacks, Zahran Hashim.

The eastern cities of Kalmunai, Chavalakade and Sammanthurai remain under extended curfew until further notice, according to police. The curfew on these cities was imposed after the shootout.

 

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