Sri Lanka attacks – More bomb horror as van explodes outside church attacked during massacre

A NINTH explosion has been reported today in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo, just 24 hours after the city was devastated by suicide bombers.

Churches and hotels were blown up in a series of horrifying terror attacks yesterday – killing 290 tourists and worshippers.

A van parked near one of the churches that was bombed on Easter Sunday exploded, but no injuries have been reported.

Cops inspected it today after people reported it had been parked near St. Anthony’s Shrine since Sunday.

They discovered three bombs which they tried to defuse – instead, the bombs detonated, sending pedestrians fleeing in panic.

A series of bombings yesterday killed almost 300 people, including at least 27 foreigners – about 500 others were wounded in the blasts.

Officials said 24 suspects are in custody for questioning.

Sri Lankan authorities said today they found 87 bomb detonators at a bus station in the capital.

National Thowheed Jamath has been named as the group responsible for the atrocity, which saw seven suicide bombers destroy churches and hotels.

Worshippers were attacked at St Anthony’s Shrine, a Catholic Church in Kochchikade, Colombo, St Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, a majority Catholic town north of Colombo, and at Zion Church in the eastern town of Batticaloa.

And three hotels – the luxury Shangri-La Hotel, Cinnamon Grand and The Kingsbury Colombo – were targeted in the devastating attacks.

Yesterday it emerged Sri Lanka’s police chief reportedly warned of suicide bombers planning to hit “prominent churches” 10 days before the large-scale attack.

Documents show cops were told of possible plans to hit religious hubs, before worshippers were killed during Easter mass yesterday.

Today the government admitted failures in an apology to the 290 dead, and near 500 injured, after being alerted to threats on April 4.

ISIS supported have boasted that the series of terror attacks were revenge for the New Zealand mosque massacre and the US-backed military campaign in Syria.

Terror expert Rita Katz said ISIS media channels are “posting rampantly” about the explosions and praying “may Allah accept” the attackers.

British lawyer Anita Nicholson, 42, and her son Alex, 11, were among the eight Brits killed in coordinated terror assaults at churches and hotels in Colombo yesterday.

Dr Julian Emmanuel, 48, an NHS doctor from Surrey, his wife Maria, 39, and their young children Jasintha and Neethan were staying at the Cinnamon Grand when they were woken by the blast.