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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – The Latest on explosions in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday (all times local):
Sri Lankan authorities have lifted a curfew that was in place overnight following Easter Sunday bombings that killed more than 200 people.
The streets in the capital, Colombo, were largely deserted Monday morning, with most shops closed and a heavy deployment of soldiers and police. Stunned clergy and onlookers gathered at St. Anthony's Shrine, looking past the soldiers to the damaged church that was targeted in one of the blasts.
The nine bombings of churches, luxury hotels and other sites was Sri Lanka's deadliest violence since a devastating civil war ended a decade ago. Police the death toll, which was 207 late Sunday, had risen overnight but the figure wasn't immediately released.
Police in Sri Lanka say the investigation into the Easter Sunday bombings will examine reports that the intelligence community failed to detect or warn of possible suicide attacks before the violence.
The nine bombings of churches, luxury hotels and other sites was Sri Lanka's deadliest violence since a devastating civil war in the South Asian island nation ended a decade ago. Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said Monday the death toll, which was 207 late Sunday, had risen overnight but the figure wasn't immediately released.
Two government ministers have alluded to intelligence failures. Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said Monday that the Criminal Investigation Department investigating the blasts will look into the reports.
Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardena previously described the blasts as a terrorist attack by religious extremists.
Japan is confirming one of its citizens was killed in the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka and at least four were wounded.
Foreign Minister Taro Kono offered his condolences to all the victims of the attacks and expressed Japan's commitment in "combatting terrorism" and solidarity with Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka's defense minister has blamed the attacks on religious extremists but no group has yet claimed responsibility.
Japan also issued a safety warning, telling Japanese people in Sri Lanka to avoid churches, mosques, public places like malls and nightclubs, and government offices related to public security.
Sri Lanka's foreign ministry has said at least 27 foreigners were among the more than 200 people killed. Other foreign victims were confirmed from the United States, Britain, China and Portugal. The nine bombings Sunday was the deadliest violence in the South Asian island country since the end of the civil war in 2009.
A group that monitors internet censorship says Sri Lankan authorities have blocked most social media services in the country following attacks that killed more than 200 people on Easter Sunday.
The NetBlocks observatory says it detected an intentional nationwide blackout of popular services including Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp and Instagram.
Sri Lankan officials said Sunday they are temporarily blocking social media to curtail the spread of false information and ease tensions until their investigation is concluded.
NetBlocks director Alp Toker says such post-attack shutdowns are often ineffective and can end up creating an information vacuum that's easily exploited. The group says the country is also blocking messaging apps.
Facebook says in a statement that people rely on its services to communicate with loved ones and it's committing to maintaining service in the country.