Bomb Found Near Colombo Airport Day After Blasts Across Sri Lanka, Death Toll Mounts to 290
People gathered outside the Church of St. Anthony where the explosion occurred in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (Photo Credits: IANS)

Colombo, April 22: A day after multiple blasts shook Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, authorities found an explosive near Colombo's main airport. According to the news agency Agence France-Presse, an improvised pipe bomb was found on a road leading towards the main terminal of the airport. Sri Lanka Air Force removed the bomb and managed to defuse it with no damage to life or property. The death toll mounted to 290 in the explosions, the police said on Monday.

"It was a crude six-foot pipe bomb that was found by the roadside. We have removed it and safely defused it at an air force location," an air force spokesman told AFP. According to Group Captain Gihan Seneviratne of Sri Lanka Air Force, the defused bomb was believed to be locally manufactured. Following the series of blasts which has claimed over 200 lives so far, curfew was imposed across the country, which has now been lifted. At least 25 Unidentified Bodies of Foreign National Victims of Lanka Blasts, 5 Britons and 3 Danes Confirmed Dead.

Suicide bombers carried out a string of well-planned explosions targeting luxury hotels and Catholic churches in Colombo and other parts of the island nation, triggering international outrage. The first of the eight blasts took place in the morning in three luxury hotels in Colombo and in a church each in Colombo, Negombo, and in the Tamil-majority Batticaloa town. As authorities rushed for rescue, seven other explosions ripped through churches and luxury hotels in other parts.

Authorities said a total of 24 suspects had been arrested but gave no further details. Four Indians, two of them women. were among the dead while some others had a narrow escape. A total of 27 foreigners, including four Indians and also people from Turkey, the US, Britain, the Netherlands, Portugal and China, perished in the mayhem.

India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, quoting official reports from Colombo, identified the Indians as Lakshmi, Narayan Chandrashekhar and Ramesh. The fourth was a Kerala woman holidaying in Colombo. P.S. Razeena, 58, had arrived there along with her husband to meet their relatives engaged in business there and was staying at one of the three hotels targeted by suicide bombers.