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Authorities in West London on Sunday said they are searching for a mugger who sucker punched his victim so hard, that his teeth had to be removed from the victim’s lungs, reports said.

The Metropolitan Police released the graphic video that showed the suspect rummage through the victim’s pockets while he was lying on the ground. The victim suffered a fractured skull and a bleed on the brain, The Sun reported.

The 23-year-old victim was in a coma for weeks, the report said. The incident occurred in August but the video was just released.

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“This was a completely unprovoked assault on a young man walking home after a night out,” a detective told the paper. “The victim has only just managed to make a full recovery from his physical injuries, however this attack has had a large psychological impact on him.

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The Latest on explosions in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday (all times local):

8 a.m.

Sri Lankan authorities have lifted a curfew that was in place overnight following Easter Sunday bombings that killed more than 200 people.

The streets in the capital, Colombo, were largely deserted Monday morning, with most shops closed and a heavy deployment of soldiers and police. Stunned clergy and onlookers gathered at St. Anthony’s Shrine, looking past the soldiers to the damaged church that was targeted in one of the blasts.

The nine bombings of churches, luxury hotels and other sites was Sri Lanka’s deadliest violence since a devastating civil war ended a decade ago. Police the death toll, which was 207 late Sunday, had risen overnight but the figure wasn’t immediately released.

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7:30 a.m.

Police in Sri Lanka say the investigation into the Easter Sunday bombings will examine reports that the intelligence community failed to detect or warn of possible suicide attacks before the violence.

The nine bombings of churches, luxury hotels and other sites was Sri Lanka’s deadliest violence since a devastating civil war in the South Asian island nation ended a decade ago. Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said Monday the death toll, which was 207 late Sunday, had risen overnight but the figure wasn’t immediately released.

Two government ministers have alluded to intelligence failures. Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said Monday that the Criminal Investigation Department investigating the blasts will look into the reports.

Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardena previously described the blasts as a terrorist attack by religious extremists.

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5 a.m.

Japan is confirming one of its citizens was killed in the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka and at least four were wounded.

Foreign Minister Taro Kono offered his condolences to all the victims of the attacks and expressed Japan’s commitment in “combatting terrorism” and solidarity with Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s defense minister has blamed the attacks on religious extremists but no group has yet claimed responsibility.

Japan also issued a safety warning, telling Japanese people in Sri Lanka to avoid churches, mosques, public places like malls and nightclubs, and government offices related to public security.

Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry has said at least 27 foreigners were among the more than 200 people killed. Other foreign victims were confirmed from the United States, Britain, China and Portugal. The nine bombings Sunday was the deadliest violence in the South Asian island country since the end of the civil war in 2009.

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11:45 p.m.

A group that monitors internet censorship says Sri Lankan authorities have blocked most social media services in the country following attacks that killed more than 200 people on Easter Sunday.

The NetBlocks observatory says it detected an intentional nationwide blackout of popular services including Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp and Instagram.

Sri Lankan officials said Sunday they are temporarily blocking social media to curtail the spread of false information and ease tensions until their investigation is concluded.

NetBlocks director Alp Toker says such post-attack shutdowns are often ineffective and can end up creating an information vacuum that’s easily exploited. The group says the country is also blocking messaging apps.

Facebook says in a statement that people rely on its services to communicate with loved ones and it’s committing to maintaining service in the country.

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Police in Sri Lanka said Monday the investigation into the Easter Sunday bombings will examine reports that the intelligence community failed to detect or warn of possible suicide attacks before the violence.

The nine bombings of churches, luxury hotels and other sites was Sri Lanka’s deadliest violence since a devastating civil war in the South Asian island nation ended a decade ago. Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said Monday the death toll, which was 207 late Sunday, had risen overnight but the figure wasn’t immediately released.

Two government ministers have alluded to intelligence failures. Telecommunications Minister Harin Fernando tweeted, “Some intelligence officers were aware of this incidence. Therefore there was a delay in action. Serious action needs to be taken as to why this warning was ignored.” He said his father had heard of the possibility of an attack as well and had warned him not to enter popular churches.

And Mano Ganeshan, the minister for national integration, said the security officers within his ministry had been warned by their division about the possibility two suicide bombers would target politicians.

Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said the Criminal Investigation Department investigating the blasts will look into the reports.

Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardena previously described the blasts as a terrorist attack by religious extremists, and police said 13 suspects were arrested, though there was no immediate claim of responsibility. Wijewardena said most of the bombings were believed to have been suicide attacks.

The explosions — mostly in or around Colombo, the capital — collapsed ceilings and blew out windows, killing worshippers and hotel guests in one scene after another of smoke, soot, blood, broken glass, screams and wailing alarms. Victims were carried out of blood-spattered pews.

“People were being dragged out,” said Bhanuka Harischandra, of Colombo, a 24-year-old founder of a tech marketing company who was going to the Shangri-La Hotel for a meeting when it was bombed. “People didn’t know what was going on. It was panic mode.”

He added: “There was blood everywhere.”

Most of those killed were Sri Lankans. But the three bombed hotels and one of the churches, St. Anthony’s Shrine, are frequented by foreign tourists, and Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry said the bodies of at least 27 foreigners from a variety of countries were recovered.

The U.S. said “several” Americans were among the dead, while Britain, India, China, Japan and Portugal said they, too, lost citizens.

The Sri Lankan government lifted a curfew that had been imposed during the night. But most social media remained blocked Monday after officials said they needed to curtail the spread of false information and ease tension in the country of about 21 million people.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said he feared the massacre could trigger instability in Sri Lanka, and he vowed to “vest all necessary powers with the defense forces” to take action against those responsible.

The Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, called on Sri Lanka’s government to “mercilessly” punish those responsible “because only animals can behave like that.”

The scale of the bloodshed recalled the worst days of Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war, in which the Tamil Tigers, a rebel group from the ethnic Tamil minority, sought independence from the Buddhist-majority country. The Tamils are Hindu, Muslim and Christian.

Sri Lanka, off the southern tip of India, is about 70 percent Buddhist. Scattered incidents of anti-Christian harassment have occurred in recent years, but nothing on the scale of what happened Sunday.

There is also no history of violent Muslim militants in Sri Lanka. However, tensions have been running high more recently between hard-line Buddhist monks and Muslims.

Two Muslim groups in Sri Lanka condemned the church attacks, as did countries around the world, and Pope Francis expressed condolences at the end of his traditional Easter Sunday blessing in Rome.

“I want to express my loving closeness to the Christian community, targeted while they were gathered in prayer, and all the victims of such cruel violence,” Francis said.

Six nearly simultaneous blasts took place in the morning at the shrine and the Cinnamon Grand, Shangri-La and Kingsbury hotels in Colombo, as well as at two churches outside Colombo, according to a Sri Lankan military spokesman, Brig. Sumith Atapattu.

A few hours later, two more blasts occurred just outside Colombo, one of them at a guesthouse, where two people were killed, the other near an overpass, Atapattu said.

Also, three police officers were killed during a search at a suspected safe house on the outskirts of Colombo when its occupants apparently detonated explosives to prevent arrest, authorities said.

The Shangri-La’s second-floor restaurant was gutted, with the ceiling and windows blown out. Loose wires hung down and tables were overturned in the blackened space. From outside the police cordon, three bodies could be seen covered in white sheets.

Sri Lankan forces defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009, ending a civil war that took over 100,000 lives, with both sides accused of grave human rights violations.

Harischandra, who witnessed the attack at the Shangri-La Hotel, said there was “a lot of tension” after the bombings, but added: “We’ve been through these kinds of situations before.”

He said Sri Lankans are “an amazing bunch” and noted that his social media feed was flooded with photos of people standing in long lines to give blood.

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Associated Press writers Sheila Norman-Culp and Gregory Katz in London; Sarah DiLorenzo in New York; Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow; Nicole Winfield at the Vatican; Adam Schreck in Bangkok; and Emily Schmall in New Delhi contributed to this report.

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The Easter Sunday bombings were Sri Lanka’s deadliest violence since the country’s civil war ended a decade ago. The nine blasts hit mainly churches and luxury hotels in Colombo, the capital. A look at the sites targeted:

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CHURCHES

St. Anthony’s Shrine is a Roman Catholic church in the Kochchikade suburb of Colombo and is one of the country’s best-known churches. Its roots reach to the 18th century Dutch colonial period, when Catholicism was forbidden and priests held services in secret. Local beliefs say the church’s founder, disguised as a merchant, helped a seaside fishing community by praying to stop the sea from eroding their village. The church was later built near the site.

St. Sebastian’s Church: This Catholic church is in Negombo, a largely Catholic town north of Colombo. Built in the Gothic style, it was patterned on the Reims Cathedral in France and was completed in the 1940s.

Zion Church: This church is in the eastern coastal city of Batticaloa. It was founded in the 1970s.

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HOTELS

The Shangri-La Hotel: This towering, luxurious hotel is near Colombo’s main business district and is just a few steps from the sea. It has 500 guest rooms and suites and 41 serviced apartments.

The Kingsbury Colombo Hotel: This luxury hotel is in Colombo’s city center, a few minutes’ walk from the Shangri-La. It has 229 rooms.

The Cinnamon Grand Colombo hotel: This hotel is about a mile (2 kilometers) from the Kingsbury and near the sea in a bustling business district. It has 483 rooms and 18 suites.

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OTHERS

A guesthouse outside Colombo, where a military spokesman said two people were killed.

An overpass outside Colombo.

A suspected safehouse, where authorities said three police officers were killed when the house’s occupants detonated explosives to avoid arrest.

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The identities of some victims of the Easter massacres in Sri Lanka emerged Sunday evening — including a British mother and her 11-year-old son, along with a TV chef and her daughter.

Over the course of the day, a series of bombs exploded, including at churches and luxury hotels, killing more than 200 people. It was the deadliest series of attacks the South Asian island country had seen since a bloody civil war there ended a decade ago.

The explosions — most of them in or around Colombo, the capital — collapsed ceilings and blew out windows, killing worshippers and hotel guests in one scene after another of smoke, soot, blood, broken glass, screams and wailing alarms. Victims were carried out of blood-spattered pews.

Most of those killed were Sri Lankans. But the three bombed hotels and one of the churches, St. Anthony’s Shrine, were frequented by foreign tourists, and Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry said the bodies of at least 27 foreign visitors from a variety of countries were recovered.

The U.S. said “several” American were among the dead, while Britain and China said they, too, lost citizens.

Multiple British nationals are among the dead, including Shantha Mayadunne, a TV chef, right, and her daughter Nisanga. (Facebook)

Multiple British nationals are among the dead, including Shantha Mayadunne, a TV chef, right, and her daughter Nisanga. (Facebook)

The Daily Telegraph reported that five British nationals are among the dead, including Shantha Mayadunne, a TV chef, and her daughter, Nisanga.

Alex Nicholson, 11, left, and his mother, Anita, 42, right, were killed; father Ben survived, while the family’s youngest daughter is unaccounted for. (Facebook)

Alex Nicholson, 11, left, and his mother, Anita, 42, right, were killed; father Ben survived, while the family’s youngest daughter is unaccounted for. (Facebook)

The news outlet also reported that Alex Nicholson, 11, and his mother, Anita, 42, were killed; father Ben survived, while the family’s youngest daughter was unaccounted for.

Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said at least 207 people were killed and 450 wounded. 

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said he feared the massacre could trigger instability in Sri Lanka, a country of about 21 million people, and vowed to “vest all necessary powers with the defense forces” to take action against those responsible.

The government imposed a nationwide curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and blocked Facebook and other social media, saying it needed to curtail the spread of false information and ease tension.

The Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, called on Sri Lanka’s government to “mercilessly” punish those responsible “because only animals can behave like that.”

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The scale of the bloodshed recalled the worst days of Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war, in which the Tamil Tigers, a rebel group from the ethnic Tamil minority, sought independence from the Buddhist-majority country. During the war, the Tigers and other rebels carried out a multitude of bombings. The Tamils are Hindu, Muslim and Christian.

Sri Lanka, situated off the southern tip of India, is about 70 percent Buddhist, with the rest of the population Muslim, Hindu or Christian. While there have been scattered incidents of anti-Christian harassment in recent years, there has been nothing on the scale of what happened Sunday.

Six nearly simultaneous blasts took place in the morning in Colombo at St. Anthony’s Shrine — a Catholic church — and the Cinnamon Grand, Shangri-La and Kingsbury hotels. After a lull of a few hours, two more explosions occurred at St. Sebastian Catholic church in Negombo, a mostly Catholic town north of Colombo, and at the Protestant Zion church in the eastern town of Batticaloa.

Three police officers were killed while conducting a search at a suspected safe house in Dematagoda, on the outskirts of Colombo, when its occupants apparently detonated explosives to prevent arrest, Wijewardena said.

Local TV showed the Shangri-La’s second-floor restaurant was gutted, with the ceiling and windows blown out. Loose wires hung and tables were overturned in the blackened space. From outside the police cordon, three bodies could be seen covered in white sheets.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Police say officers patrolling a main highway in North Macedonia found 58 migrants packed into a van and detained three men on suspicion of smuggling migrants.

Police said in a statement issued Sunday that the officers stopped the van on Saturday afternoon and arrested two Macedonian citizens and a third man from Kosovo.

The statement says 56 of the people packed inside the van were from Pakistan and two were from Syria.

Police say they were taken to a shelter in the southern town of Gevgelija, near the border with Greece and will be deported.

They allege the migrants entered North Macedonia illegally from Greece and were to be transported north to Serbia’s border and then on to other European countries.

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Two teenagers who were arrested in the shooting death of a 29-year-old journalist in Northern Ireland have been released from police custody without being charged.

Police let the 18- and 19-year-old men go Sunday night and appealed to anyone with information about whoever killed Lyra McKee to come forward.

McKee was fatally wounded during rioting Thursday night in the city of Londonderry.

Police say she was probably hit by a bullet someone fired at police. Video from the scene showed a gunman wearing a black face mask aiming at officers.

The two teens were arrested under an anti-terrorism law on Saturday. Their release means authorities are still seeking the person who pulled the trigger.

McKee’s funeral is scheduled to be held in her native Belfast on Wednesday.

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Police and the British High Commission say a British woman and a Nigerian citizen have been shot dead in north-central Nigeria.

A High Commission statement says they were killed on Friday when gunmen attacked the Kajuru Castle holiday resort in Kaduna state. The statement identified the British national as Faye Mooney.

The aid group Mercy Corps says Mooney had worked as a communications specialist in Nigeria for almost two years. Its statement says that “we are utterly heartbroken.”

Kaduna state police spokesman Yakubu Sabo tells reporters that the gunmen kidnapped three other people. Their nationalities were not immediately clear.

Sabo says Mooney had been in a group of 12 tourists who traveled from Lagos.

Kaduna state has witnessed a spate of kidnappings by armed men in recent months.

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Sri Lankan authorities have blocked most social media services in the country following attacks that killed more than 200 people on Easter, according to officials and a group that monitors Internet censorship.

Sri Lankan officials said Sunday they were blocking social media temporarily to curtail the spread of false information and ease tensions until their investigation is concluded.

POPE CELEBRATES EASTER SUNDAY AMID BLOODSHED IN SRI LANKA

More than 200 people were killed and hundreds more wounded in eight bomb blasts that rocked churches and luxury hotels in or near Sri Lanka’s capital on Easter Sunday — the deadliest violence the South Asian island country has seen since a bloody civil war ended a decade ago.

Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardena described the bombings as a terrorist attack by religious extremists, and police said 13 suspects were arrested, though there was no immediate claim of responsibility. Wijewardena said most of the blasts were believed to have been suicide attacks.

“People were being dragged out,” said Bhanuka Harischandra, of Colombo, a 24-year-old founder of a tech marketing company who was going to the city’s Shangri-La Hotel for a meeting when it was bombed. “People didn’t know what was going on. It was panic mode.”

He added, “There was blood everywhere.”

The NetBlocks observatory said it detected an intentional nationwide blackout of popular services including Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp and Instagram.

The group said the country also was blocking messaging apps.

Facebook said in a statement that people rely on its services to communicate with loved ones and it was committing to maintaining service in the country.

Harischandra, who witnessed the attack at the Shangri-La Hotel, said there was “a lot of tension” after the bombings, but added: “We’ve been through these kinds of situations before.”

He said Sri Lankans are “an amazing bunch” and noted that his social media feed was flooded with photos of people standing in long lines to give blood.

NetBlocks director Alp Toker said such post-attack shutdowns are often ineffective and can end up creating an information vacuum that’s easily exploited.

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“Having experienced the open and welcoming Sri Lanka during my last week traveling through the country, I had a sense that the country was turning the corner, and in particular those in the tourism industry were hopeful for the future,” said Peter Kelson, a technology manager from Sydney.

“Apart from the tragedy of the immediate victims of the bombings, I worry that these terrible events will set the country back significantly,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News World

The Latest on the presidential election in North Macedonia (all times local):

9:55 p.m.

Returns from North Macedonia’s presidential election are giving an indication of which of the three candidates will compete in a runoff early next month.

The May 5 runoff is inevitable because the small European country’s election law requires a candidate to get 50% plus one of registered voters, not just voters who cast ballots for president, to be elected in the first round. The state electoral commission reported the turnout Sunday was 39.26%.

With about half of polling stations reporting, Stevo Pendarovski and Gordana Siljanovska Davkova were in a close contest for the most support. Pendarovski, the joint candidate of the ruling Social Democrats and 30 other parties, held a slight lead, with 42.4% of the partial vote to Siljanovska’s 41.1%.

The main conservative opposition VMRO-DPMNE party backed Siljanovska, the first woman to run for president in the country. .

Blerim Reka, a candidate supported by two small ethnic Albanian political parties, had 12.3% of the early returns.

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8:15 a.m.

Polls opened early Sunday in North Macedonia for a presidential election seen as a key test for the government following the country’s changing its name to end a decades-old dispute with neighboring Greece over the use of the term “Macedonia”.

More than 3,400 polling stations opened at 7 a.m. local time (0500 GMT) and will close at 7 p.m. (1700GMT).

Three university professors are vying for the largely ceremonial presidency post.

Gordana Siljanovska Davkova is backed by the main conservative opposition VMRO-DPMNE party, Stevo Pendarovski is a joint candidate of the ruling Social Democrats and 30 smaller parties, while Blerim Reka is supported by two small ethnic Albanian parties.

A candidate needs 50% plus one vote of the 1.8 million registered voters to win outright in the first round.

Source: Fox News World


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