Sri Lanka blast death count reduced by 100 after initial calculation error
It was previously thought that about 359 people had died in the explosions, but BBC reporter Azzam Ameen tweeted that the Sri Lanka Health Ministry made a "calculation error"
Latest reports reveal investigators in Sri Lanka have revised the death toll from Easter Sunday's blast and rounded the casualty to "around" 253 people - 100 less than what had been initially estimated. It was previously thought that about 359 people had died in the explosions, but BBC reporter Azzam Ameen tweeted that the Sri Lanka Health Ministry made a "calculation error."
Anil Jasinghe, the director general of Sri Lanka's health services, told Reuters: "It could be 250 or 260. I can't exactly say. There are so many body parts and it is difficult to give a precise figure." Channel 4 News journalist, Krishnan Guru-Murthy reported that the body parts had been wrongly counted following the deadly attacks. Reports Thursday said some badly mutilated bodies ended up being double-counted. With the autopsies now concluded, medical examiners said some victims were counted more than once.
Sri Lanka's deputy defence minister responsible for the police, Ruwan Wijewardene, claimed the error was due to miscalculations by the island's morgues.
The Foreign Office of the UK has changed its Sri Lanka travel advice following the bombings, which reportedly left 500 people injured. According to reports, eight Britons were among those who died in the attacks. The UK FCO has also urged people not to travel to Sri Lanka, warning against all except essential travel to the nation "due to the current evolving security situation following attacks on 21 April 2019".
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Following the horrific attacks on Easter Sunday, and the ongoing Sri Lankan security operation, I have received updated advice from the Foreign Office and decided to update the travel advice to British nationals to Sri Lanka to advise against all but essential travel.”
This news arrives after the US Embassy in Columbo warned that there might be more attacks expected to occur in places of worship like the churches that were targeted on Easter Sunday. In a tweet, they said: "Sri Lankan authorities are reporting that additional attacks may occur targeting places of worship. Avoid these areas over the weekend, starting tomorrow, April 26th through Sunday, April 28th. Continue to remain vigilant and avoid large crowds".
On Tuesday, ISIS claimed responsibility for the said attacks. A total of six explosions happened on the morning of Easter Sunday - three at churches, and three at luxury hotels. A fourth bombing had also been reportedly planned near the airport but failed. It is also to be noted that in the recent past, ISIS has particularly targeted places o worship and also repeatedly called for attacks on churches, ever since the New Zealand mosque attacks.