A suspicious object explodes in Colombo on April 22, a day after hotels and churches were hit in series of bomb blasts in Sri Lanka. Picture: The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images
A suspicious object explodes in Colombo on April 22, a day after hotels and churches were hit in series of bomb blasts in Sri Lanka. Picture: The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images

Sri Lanka bomber ‘studied in Australia’

One of the suicide bombers behind the Easter Sunday massacre in Sri Lanka that killed nearly 360 people studied in Australia, the country's PM says.

Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Wednesday one of the bombers studied in the UK and then Australia.

It came as police said the death toll had risen to 359. A further 18 suspects were arrested overnight, bringing the total detained to 58.

Mr Wickremesinghe said many of the suspects were "well educated and come from upper middle class and so they are financially independent".

Islamic State on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Meanwhile, another bomb blast rocked the capital Colombo on Wednesday afternoon.

The explosion was reported near the Savoy Cinema.

Sri Lanka's deputy defence minister Ruwan Wijewardene said police carried out a controlled explosion while investigating a "suspicious" motorbike parked outside the cinema.

On Monday night, a van parked near St. Anthony's Shrine exploded as police attempted to defuse three bombs discovered inside. No injuries were reported.

Seven suicide bombers struck six locations near simultaneously on Sunday - two at the Shangri-La Hotel, one each at Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury hotels, St. Anthony's Shrine in Colombo, St. Sebastian's church in Negombo and Zion Church in Batticaloa.

Two more bombs exploded hours later, one near an overpass on the outskirts of Colombo and another at a safe house near that blast, killing three police officers.

More to come.


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