CCTV footage has emerged of a suspected suicide bomber entering St Sebastian’s Church in Negombo moments before an explosion ripped through the building.
The Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, said at least 110 people were killed at St Sebastian’s, the deadliest of a series of attacks against churches and luxury hotels that left at least 310 people dead.
The footage, broadcast widely on Sri Lankan news channels, tracks the movements of a young bearded man with a backpack, outside the building.
The same man is then picked up on St Sebastian’s internal cameras entering the church packed with Easter Sunday worshippers.
The video stops before the bomb is detonated. Pictures of the aftermath of the explosion show blood-stained pews, the roof ripped off and knocked out doors and windows.
As well as St Sebastian, churches in Batticaloa on the east coast and Colombo’s Kochchikade district along with the Shangri-La, Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand hotels in the country’s capital were targeted.
Authorities said all the attacks were carried out by suicide bombers.
A government minister said militant group National Thawheed Jama’ut was behind the attacks, with Sri Lankan police investigating whether warnings of the attack were ignored or missed before the blasts.
Known locally as “Little Rome”, the seaside town of Negombo has dozens of churches and is at the centre of Sri Lanka’s Catholic community.
Around 65% of Negombo’s 140,000 residents are Catholic, compared to just 6% in the country as a whole.