A Sri Lankan woman cries during a burial service for a bomb blast victim in a cemetery in Colombo on April 23, 2019, two days after a series of bomb attacks in Sri Lanka.

A Sri Lankan woman cries during a burial service for a bomb blast victim in a cemetery in Colombo on April 23, 2019, two days after a series of bomb attacks in Sri Lanka.

The FBI will help Sri Lankan authorities investigate a horrific series of bombings on Easter Sunday.

The deadly attacks targeted Christians around the country in luxury hotels and churches. They were the most devastating acts of violence since the end of its civil war about 10 years ago.

At least 321 people are dead and 500 people are injured.

Update: the death toll was revised by Sri Lankan authorities.

One of the children killed in the bombings was a student at Sidwell Friends, the elite school in Washington, D.C. Kieran Shafritz de Zoysa was a fifth grader.

From WAMU:

De Zoysa was on a leave of absence from the school for the year. He was living and studying in Sri Lanka.

In a letter, school principal Mamadou Guèye said de Zoysa was “passionate about learning, he adored his friends, and he was incredibly excited about returning to Sidwell Friends this coming school year.”

Another victim was an 11-year-old boy, whose father spoke to The Los Angeles Times’ Shashank Bengali.

Read more about the victims here.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, although The New York Times reports that “the group’s wording did not make clear whether it had direct ties to the bombers, or if the attackers were heeding the Islamic State’s calls for Muslims to attack in their home countries.”

And an official from the Sri Lankan government said that the attacks were planned in retaliation for the recent attacks at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.

We break down the latest on what we know about these attacks and answer your questions.

See what some of our listeners contributed during our show with this thread:

Produced by Kathryn Fink.

Guests

  • Krishnadev Calamur Senior editor, The Atlantic; @kcalamur
  • Jeffrey Gettleman South Asia bureau chief, The New York Times; @gettleman
  • Michael Kugelman Deputy director, Asia Program, the Wilson Center; @michaelkugelman

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