Newspaper headlines: ‘Innocent lives lost’ in ‘Easter massacre’

i front page 22/04/19
The front pages are dominated by the deaths of more than 200 people in explosions targeting churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. The i says the victims come from countries including the UK, Turkey, China, India and Holland, and 450 others were also injured.
Guardian front page 22/04/19
The Guardian says political and religious leaders across the world have condemned the attacks, which it says appeared timed to cause maximum casualties among worshippers attending Easter services and holidaymakers eating breakfast at their hotels.
Mirror front page 22/04/19
‘The Easter Massacre’ is the headline in the Mirror, which has a picture of St Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, where dozens were killed by an explosion. The paper says the “peace of Easter church services was cruelly shattered” by the attackers, “who brought death and destruction to places of worship”.
Daily Express front page 22/04/19
The Express reports that five Britons were among those killed in the “co-ordinated” attacks. It also has a picture of the inside of St Sebastian’s, which was severely damaged by the blast.
Sun front page 22/04/19
The Sun says a mum and her two children are feared to be among the British victims. The paper says that Anita Nicholson, 42, was in a breakfast queue with her son, Alex, 11, and daughter Annabel, when a blast hit their hotel. Their deaths have not been independently verified by the BBC.
Telegraph front page 22/04/19
The Telegraph has a picture of the same British family on its front page. The paper reports that the father, Ben, survived, but it was unable to account for the whereabouts of the couple’s daughter.
Daily Mail front page 22/04/19
The Daily Mail says the family, who are originally from Upminster in Essex, were on holiday in Colombo at the time of the attack. They were believed to have been living in Singapore, where Mr Nicholson works, the paper reports.
The Times front page 22/04/19
Sri Lankan police had issued a warning to senior officials just 10 days before the attack, according to the Times. The paper says they had foreign intelligence that suicide bombers affiliated with the Muslim group NTJ (National Throwheeth Jamaath) planned to hit “prominent churches”. However, it says no group has yet claimed responsibility.
Financial Times front page
The Financial Times says the attacks are the most lethal violence to hit Sri Lanka since the end of its civil war in 2009. The paper reports that the country’s defence minister Ruwan Wijewardene has blamed “religious extremists”. Its front page also has a photo of comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, who won a landslide victory to become the president of Ukraine – despite having no political experience.
Daily Star front page 22/04/19
The Daily Star has a story about a charity fundraiser dressed as Superman who swooped in to help police as they struggled to arrest a man in Norwich city centre. The dad-of-five, Saleem Syed, said he “just happened to be in the right place at the right time”, when he helped control the man, who had become aggressive towards the officers.

At St Anthony’s Church in Colombo on Sunday, the worshippers closed their eyes in prayer – and then, says the Times, the carnage began.

The front page of the Daily Express has a stark image of the devastated church – and in common with the Daily Mirror uses the headline “Easter Massacre”.

The Financial Times calls it the most lethal violence in the country since the end of its long civil war in 2009.

For the Guardian, the attacks were a shocking and heartbreaking blow to the hopes of an island still striving for a lasting peace.

In short, concludes the Daily Telegraph, an era of peace has been shattered by a new menace.

Sri Lankan security forces secure the area around St. Anthony's Shrine after an explosion hit St Anthony's Church in Kochchikade
St Anthony’s Shrine in the Kochchikade district of Colombo was one of three churches to be targeted

Many of the papers have the same photograph of a British woman and her two children who are feared dead after an explosion at a hotel. Anita Nicholson’s husband, Ben, is reported to have survived.

The Sun features the account of a British doctor – who was on holiday with his family at another of the hotels that were targeted. He describes how they were woken by the blast and how the subsequent scenes left his wife and children traumatised.

In the Sri Lankan press, the FT talks of extremism engulfing the country. As a result, it reports, schools will be closed on Monday and on Tuesday all police leave has been cancelled and a curfew imposed.

The Daily Mirror says sources believe the suspects were part of a radical Islamist group.

Writing in the Sri Lanka Guardian, an expert in south Asian studies suggests the attacks were the work of Muslim extremists.

Here, the Daily Mail believes they had all the hallmarks of the Islamic State group, with suicide bombings targeting civilians.

The Daily Telegraph expresses concern about comments by the fertility regulator, Sally Cheshire, who believes some IVF clinics are offering older women false hope.

In an interview with the paper, she says some parts of the sector are using “blatant” sales tactics to exploit a vulnerable market.

The Telegraph argues that new guidance is needed – and if that does not work, then the government will have to step in.

Role abroad for royals

Reports that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex could in future spend part of the year in Africa prompt much comment.

Writing in the Mail, Robert Hardman says the couple would be following a great family tradition. He recalls how – as Princess Elizabeth – the Queen made her first foreign visit to Africa.

The Mirror thinks that with the couple having so much potential, finding them a suitable role will not be easy.

But the Sun reports that there are concerns within the royal household about the cost of the move. It suggests the security bill would top £1m a year.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on a visit to Morocco in February
Reports suggest plans are being drawn up to give Prince Harry and Meghan a major international role that could see them move abroad

The Times highlights new research which found a simple and cunning way to encourage teenagers to give up junk food and eat healthily.

Researchers in Texas say a group of 13-years-olds were given an account of the business practices of big food companies that spend billions on advertising to persuade people to eat sugary, fatty treats.

The idea was to prey on the natural rebelliousness of teenagers – and sure enough, says the paper, over the next three months they tended to opt for healthier food.