Sri Lanka attacks: We had no prior knowledge - US Ambassador

Sri lanka’s bombing

A view of St. Sebastian's Church damaged in blast in Negombo, north of Colombo, Sri Lanka, April 21, 2019 hit by one of eight blasts that rocked churches and hotels in and just outside of Sri Lanka's capital on Easter Sunday. (AP/Chamila Karunarathne).

American Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Alaina Teplitz.

The US ambassador to Sri Lanka has denied the United States had prior knowledge of the Easter militant attacks that it passed to the Colombo government, CNN television reported on Wednesday.

“We had no prior knowledge of these attacks,” US ambassador Alaina Teplitz told the US channel in an interview on the suicide attacks on Sunday that killed 359 people, including at least four Americans.

A Sri Lankan minister had said earlier this week that India and the United States had provided information before the bombings on three churches and three hotels which authorities have blamed on a local Islamist group.

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“Well, I can’t speak for others. I don’t know what other sources of information the government of Sri Lanka might have had. I can just tell you that we had no prior knowledge,” the ambassador told CNN.

“The Sri Lankan government has admitted lapses in their intelligence gathering and information sharing,” Teplitz added.

Sri Lankan authorities have started an investigation into how warnings about possible attacks were not passed to top ministers.

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