Death toll in Sri Lanka bombings rises to 359

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Colombo: The death toll from the Easter Sunday suicide bombing attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka rose to 359, the police said on Wednesday.

Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera released the toll but did not give a breakdown of casualties from the three churches and four hotels hit by suicide bombers. The toll had been put at 321 on Tuesday, with about 500 people also wounded.

Gunasekera also stated that 18 suspects were arrested overnight, raising the total detained to 58. Earlier on Tuesday, the Sri Lankan Prime Minister had warned that several suspects armed with explosives were at large.

Another top government official said the suicide bombings at the churches, hotels and other sites were carried out by Islamic fundamentalists in apparent retaliation for the New Zealand mosque massacre last month.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the Sri Lanka attacks and released images that purported to show the attackers.

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