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Up to 200 children in Sri Lanka lost family members in Easter bombings: report

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Colombo: About 200 children in Sri Lanka have lost their family members, some of them sole breadwinners, in the massive Easter Sunday bombings, according to a leading charity organisation.

Some of the families have lost their source of income and might not have sufficient savings to resume their normal life, Colombo-based Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) said.

Nine suicide bombers carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through three churches and as many luxury hotels on the Easter Sunday, killing more than 250 people.

The ISIS terror group claimed the attacks, but the government blamed local Islamist extremist group National Thawheed Jammath (NTJ) for the bombings. The victims included over 40 foreigners, 10 of whom were Indians.

The livelihood of 75 families have been disrupted due to the injuries sustained to their family members. More than 500 people were injured in the incident, Colombo Gazette quoted the SLRCS as saying.

"Some of them will not be able to go to work due to injuries, and some lost their physical ability to work," the report said.

The SLRCS said that there is a need to provide Psychological First Aid (PFA) to the people who were directly affected by the incident especially the survivors, witnesses and those families who have lost their family members.

"They may struggle with or face new challenges following the event. By providing PFA, the SLRCS aims to reduce the initial distress caused by traumatic events and foster short and long-term adaptive functioning and coping," it said.

Inter-ethnic anxiety has also risen in the affected districts as well as in the country, the society said.

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