COLOMBO, April 24 - The death toll in Sri Lanka�s Easter Sunday bomb attacks has risen to 359, police said on Wednesday amidst nationwide search operations to nab the perpetrators of the country�s worst terror attack.
So far 60 people have been arrested in connection with the attacks, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said. �The number of death now is 359,� he said, adding, more than 500 people have been injured in the bombings.
Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene, addressing a press conference here, accepted that there had been a major lapse in security arrangements. �We (the government) have to take the responsibility. The President (Maithripala Sirisena) is planning to make some changes in the security establishments,� he said.
Intelligence suggested that the attackers were motivated by the Christchurch (New Zealand) shootings, the minister said. �One of the suicide bombers studied overseas. Most of them are well-educated, and come from maybe middle class or upper middle class. So they are financially quite independent and their families are quite stable financially,� he said.
There were nine suicide bombers, including a woman, involved in the bombings, police spokesman Gunasekera said at the press conference. �Eight of them have been identified,� he said. � PTI