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UK relaxes travel advise issued after Sri Lanka bombings

By Anuj Cariappa

London, June 07: Britain has relaxed its travel advice for its nationals planning to visit Sri Lanka after the deadly Easter Sunday terror attacks claimed 258 lives, including that of 44 foreigners.

After a series of bomb attacks on churches and luxury hotels on April 21, the UK Foreign Office warned people against all but essential travel to the island nation.

UK relaxes travel advise issued after Sri Lanka bombings

Countries like India and China have also relaxed their travel advice to their nationals following an appeal from the Sri Lankan leadership and improvement in the security situation in the country.

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But following a reassessment of the threat, the FCO has removed that warning from its travel advice.

Over 250,000 Britons visited Sri Lanka last year, making the UK the third-highest source of tourism after India and China.

It now contains specific warnings about travel there - saying terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks, including in places foreigners visit.

It also says outbreaks of mob violence, such as those that followed the Easter attacks, could happen again with little or no warning.

It warns those travelling to keep up to date with developments and remain vigilant, the BBC reported.

"Take sensible precautions, familiarise yourself with security procedures at your hotel or accommodation and follow the advice of local authorities and hotel security staff," it says.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe have separately met foreign envoys in Colombo and urged them to relax the travel alerts.

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The suicide bombings against the Catholic churches and luxury hotels were blamed on a local jihadi outfit, the National Thowheed Jamaath, said to have links with the Islamic State terror group.

According to Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry, 44 foreign nationals were killed in the terror attack. While 11 Indians were killed, the UK and China lost six of their nationals in the bombings.

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