Washington, – At least four Americans are among the 290 killed in the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, a senior State Department official confirmed to Efe on Monday.
So far, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, had claimed that “several US citizens” They had died in Sri Lanka, but had not specified their number.
The attack this Sunday is the most devastating that Sri Lanka has suffered since the end of the war in 26 years that faced the Sri Lankan Army with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam guerrillas for 26 years, a conflict that left 40,000 civilians dead, according to UN data.
The president, Donald Trump, and the prime minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe, spoke on the phone today about what happened, the president said on his Twitter.
“I spoke with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka this morning to inform him that the US is at his side and his country in the fight against terrorism, and I have also expressed my condolences on my behalf and on behalf of the people. American, “said Trump.
Pompeo also spoke today with Wickremesinghe and reiterated the “full support of the US Government to bring those responsible to justice,” the State Department said in a statement.
No organization has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the Sri Lankan Executive has targeted the local jihadist group National Thowheeth Jamath (NTJ) as responsible for the simultaneous attacks on three Christian churches (two Catholic and one evangelical) and three luxury hotels.
Sri Lanka lived today a day of uncertainty and fear of a new attack, since there were again noises of an explosion in one of the churches attacked on Sunday and where a group of gunners tried to deactivate some of the explosives that remained in the place.
The State Department has asked its citizens in the Asian country to exercise caution due to terrorism and, on its website, warns: “terrorist groups continue to plot possible attacks in Sri Lanka that could occur without any warning and targeting tourist sites “
The State Department has refused to confirm whether it has information on plans for other terrorist attacks.
At a press conference, Sri Lankan Health Minister Rajtha Senraratne acknowledged that on April 4 his government received information from intelligence agencies in other countries about the possibility of terrorist attacks against churches and tourist destinations.
Sri Lanka, which has become a popular tourist destination, is a country with a Buddhist majority (70.2%), while Christians represent 7.4% of the population, Hindus 12.6% and Muslims 9.7%, according to the 2011 census data (EFEUSA).