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Sri Lanka cancels weekend masses over fresh attack fears


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Colombo:  Sri Lankan authorities have cancelled weekend masses in the capital because of fears of fresh bomb attacks.

The Archdiocese of Colombo spokesman Fr. Edmond Tilakaratne said a fresh decision was made by Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith to cancel the masses on Saturday and Sunday based on the latest security reports, the Sri Lankan media reported.

Tilakaratne said that the services were cancelled after the government warned of "more possible attacks by the same Islamic State-linked group that carried out the Easter suicide bombings". 

He said that the Catholic Church will issue a further notice on the masses later, the Daily Mirror reported.

The Cardinal had earlier instructed the churches to have a limited number of masses on May 5, but not to have evening services.

The churches in Colombo and suburbs have been closed since the April 21 deadly Easter Sunday bomb attacks which killed 253 people.

Last week, Muslims were told to stay home for Friday prayers and all of Sri Lanka's Catholic churches were closed. Instead of the usual Sunday mass, Cardinal Ranjith delivered a homily before clergy and national leaders at his residence that was aired on television..

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