The Batticaloa suicide bomber had allegedly targeted the St. Mary’s Catholic Cathedral, but unsuccessful in his attempt as the Easter mass had ended early.
The male suicide bomber, identified as ‘Umar’ from the eastern town of Oddamavadi, blew himself up in the Zion Church in Central Road, Batticaloa at around 9 am just as mass was to start, claiming 28 lives, including 14 children, and injuring more.
Church sources and residents said a distrustful character had first gone to the St. Mary’s Catholic Cathedral on the same road opposite St. Michael’s Boys’ school at 8.30 am and had made investigations about the mass there. This was confirmed by Batticaloa Bishop Rt. Rev. Joseph Ponniah.