Sri Lanka was hit by a series of terrorist bombings last Sunday that killed more than 300 people and injured over 500 others. Even for a country with an extensive history of violence, the bombings were a shock. After a decades-long civil war that was fought for ethnic and nationalist reasons, Sunday’s bombings sought to expose and widen religious divisions in the country. No group has taken credit for the attacks, but the government believes that they were launched by a domestic group with foreign assistance. If so, it is another indication that jihad is becoming truly global and Asian governments must prepare for that threat.
Bombs went off around 8:45 a.m. at three Catholic churches in the cities of Colombo (the capital), Negombo and Batticaloa just before Sunday services began. Three luxury hotels were attacked shortly after, and another explosion occurred at a banquet hall in Colombo in the afternoon. An eighth bomb went off at a house raided by police just after that, killing three officers, and police found and defused yet another explosive device at the main international airport.