The Latest: Cardinal says more churches could face attacks
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — The Latest on attacks by an Islamic State-linked group that carried out Easter suicide bombings in Sri Lanka that killed 257 people (all times local):
Sri Lanka’s Catholic cardinal says that he has received “foreign information” that attempts would be made this week to attack a church and another Catholic institution.
Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith made the declaration in a letter dated Thursday that was sent to church officials.
Church spokesman Rev. Edmund Thilakaratne in an interview confirmed the authenticity of the letter to The Associated Press. He declined to disclose further details, including the source of the foreign information.
In the letter that appeared on social media Thursday, Ranjith said he was closing churches and Catholic schools throughout Sri Lanka and canceling Mass “until further notice.”
An Islamic State-linked group carried out Easter suicide bombing on Sri Lanka that killed 257 people
Catholic services are being canceled for a second weekend in Sri Lanka’s capital after the government warned of more possible attacks by the same Islamic State-linked group that carried out Easter suicide bombings that killed 257 people.
Rev. Edmund Tillakaratne, spokesman for the Colombo diocese said Thursday that Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith had canceled all Sunday services in the diocese based on the latest security reports.
Muslims last week were told to stay home for Friday prayers and all of Sri Lanka’s Catholic churches were closed. Instead of the usual Sunday Mass, Ranjith delivered a homily before clergy and national leaders at his residence that was broadcast on television.
Sri Lanka’s Muslim leaders, however, were encouraging believers to return to mosques for Friday prayers, according to N.M. Ameen, president of the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka.