At about the same time two other hotels in Sri Lanka and three churches packed with Christian worshipers were celebrating Easter Sunday were being bombed, Mohamed Azzam Mohamed stood in line at Sri Lanka’s luxury Cinnamon Grand hotel with the other guests, who were waiting to be served Easter brunch. Unlike the other customers waiting in line, Mohamed had no intention of eating breakfast. With explosives strapped to his back, he has one purpose, to kill innocent people.
According to the Times of Israel – The suicide bomber waited patiently in a queue for the Easter Sunday breakfast buffet at Sri Lanka’s Cinnamon Grand hotel before setting off explosives strapped to his back.
Carrying a plate, the man, who had registered at the hotel the night before as Mohamed Azzam Mohamed, was just about to be served when he set off his devastating strike in the packed restaurant, a manager at the Sri Lankan hotel said.
“There was utter chaos,” said the manager, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity as he is not allowed to speak for the company.
Hours later, two more explosives were set off around the capital Colombo. One of them was triggered near a hotel in a suburb south of Colombo, killing two people, another was apparently set off by a suicide bomber looking to avoid capture in a safe house in a northern neighborhood of the capital. Three police officers were killed in the blast.
In total, over 200 people were killed in the attacks on Sunday, including 35 foreign nationals, according to Sri Lankan police.
Many of the 35 foreigners killed in the blasts were at the hotels, officials said.
Several Americans were among the more than 200 people killed in a series of bombings of hotels and churches in Sri Lanka, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
The Taprobane restaurant at the hotel was having one of its busiest days of the year for the Easter holiday weekend.
“It was 8:30 a.m., and it was busy. It was families,” the manager told AFP.
“He came up to the top of the queue and set off the blast,” he added. “One of our managers who was welcoming guests was among those killed instantly.”
The bomber also died. Parts of his body were found intact by police and taken away.
Police have a vehicle they suspect was used to transport the suspects into Colombo. Police have also found a safe house used by the attackers.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe declined to identify any suspected perpetrators. A police spokesman says 13 suspects have been arrested in connection with the attacks. –Hindu Times