Sri Lankan Naval soldiers stand guard as authorities started clearing the debris from inside of the damaged St. Anthony’s Church after it was targeted in a series of Islamic State-claimed suicide bombings that killed hundreds of people during Easter Sunday. (AP Photo)
Taking note of the situation in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of Easter bombings, New Delhi on Saturday asked its citizens to avoid “non-essential travel” to the island nation.
“Indian nationals intending to travel to Sri Lanka are advised not to undertake non-essential travel,” read a press note from the MEA.
“In case of those undertaking essential/emergency travels, they can contact the High Commission of India in Colombo or the Assistant High Commission in Kandy / Consulates in Hambantota and Jaffna in case of requirement of any assistance. The helpline numbers of the Indian High Commission are available on the Mission’s website,” the note further read.
The Sri Lankan government has beefed up the security in the country post the deadly bombings that claimed more than 250 lives.
A nation-wide emergency including night time curfew is in place at present which may also affect travel within Sri Lanka.
A shootout between troops and suspected Islamist militants erupted on Friday evening in Sainthamaruthu in Ampara, to the south of the town of Batticaloa, site of one of the Easter Sunday blasts at three churches and four luxury hotels.
A police spokesman said that three suspected suicide bombers were among the 15 dead after the shoot out.
The government has said nine homegrown, well-educated suicide bombers carried out the Easter Sunday attacks, eight of whom had been identified. One was a woman.
Police said on Friday they were trying to track down 140 people they believe have links with Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for the suicide bombings.
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