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Sri Lanka bombings: Multi-faith vigil in Ilford tonight to remember hundreds killed on Easter Sunday

PUBLISHED: 13:02 25 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:02 25 April 2019

The death toll following a series of targeted attacks on three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday stands currently at 290, with 500 people injured. Picture: New York Times

The death toll following a series of targeted attacks on three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday stands currently at 290, with 500 people injured. Picture: New York Times

Archant

A multi-faith vigil will be held in Ilford town centre tonight to remember the hundreds of people killed in a series of bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.

The death toll from the attacks on three churches and three luxury hotels stood at 359 as of April 24.

The Sri Lankan government blames a local jihadist group called National Thowheed Jamath – while Isis claimed responsibility for the attacks yesterday morning.

The vigil will be held at Vine United Reformed Church, in Riches Road, Ilford, at 7pm tonight (Thursday, April 26) in honour of the victims.

Members of the Tamil church the Emmanuel Christian Fellowship and the British Pakistani Christian Association will meet outside Redbridge Town Hall, in High Road beforehand at 6.30pm.

A bag piper will perform a lament for the dead and one minute silence will be held before joining the Vine Church ceremony.

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Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said: “We hope people from all walks of life will join our solidarity event and show support in particular for our anguished Sri Lankan community.”

He added: “In our cosmopolitan city of London such attacks cause outrage to the many different people of all faiths or none, who are horrified by the twisted ideology that seeks to destroy our peace.”

Six blasts are reported to have gone off in quick succession across the country just after 8.45am local time on Sunday.

The churches targeted were in Negombo, Batticaloa and the Kochchikade district of the country's capital Colombo.

Colombo's Shangri-La, Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand Hotels were also rocked by explosions.

Police then carried out raids on two addresses – one in Dehiwala, southern Colombo and another near the district of Dematagoda – and there were explosions at both.

Sri Lankan nationals made up the vast majority of those killed.

The ministry of foreign affairs has said it believes 35 foreign nationals are also among the dead, including at least eight British citizens.


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