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Sri Lanka restores social media access after Easter Sunday bombings

The attacks killed hundreds of people.

Sri Lanka

Nine explosions devastated Sri Lankan churches and hotels on Easter Sunday.

Getty Images

The Sri Lankan government restored access to social media nine days after the catastrophic bombings on Easter Sunday, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Following the attacks, the government had shut down social media.

The militant group ISIS claimed responsibility for bombings of Christian churches and hotels in three cities. The death toll, which was tallied at 321 by April 23, was lowered to 253 by the health ministry on Thursday, according to CNN

"Some of the bodies get severely damaged in these kinds of explosions and it's possible for some bodies to get completely destroyed or break into parts, making the identification of full bodies difficult," the ministry told CNN in a statement. "Hence, counting an exact death toll is challenging."

US citizens were among the deceased, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. 

Bombs exploded in churches in Negombo, Batticaloa and the capital of Colombo at 8:45 a.m. local time, according to officials. The hotels hit include the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand, the Tropical Inn and the Kingsbury. A housing complex in Dematagoda was also bombed.

How to help

Here are a few ways you can help those affected by the bombings in Sri Lanka. Just be wary of any group or person asking for money.

  • If you have the means, you can travel to Sri Lanka to help those in need. The organization Volunteer Sri Lanka sends international volunteers to teach at schools, care for the elderly, help at hospitals and aid in rebuilding efforts. 

Originally published April 22.
Update, April 23: Includes more details.
Update, April 30: Added update about social media blackout.