As a state of emergency took effect Tuesday giving the Sri Lankan military war-time powers, police arrested 40 suspects, including the driver of a van allegedly used by suicide bombers involved in deadly Easter bombings and the owner of a house where some of them lived, officials said.Sri Lanka's president gave the military a wider berth to detain and arrest suspects — powers that were used during the 26-year civil war but withdrawn when it ended in 2009.
The death toll from Sunday's attacks rose to 310, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said.
On Tuesday, which President Maithripala Sirisena declared a day of mourning, Sri Lankan authorities planned to brief foreign diplomats and receive assistance from the FBI and other foreign intelligence-gathering agencies after officials disclosed Monday that warnings had been received weeks ago of the possibility of an attack by the radical Muslim group blamed for the bloodshed.
The six near-simultaneous attacks on three churches and three luxury hotels and three related blasts later Sunday were the South Asian island nation's deadliest violence in a decade. The government blocked most social media to curtail false information. Even after an overnight, nationwide curfew was lifted, the streets of central Colombo remained mostly deserted and shops closed as armed soldiers stood guard.