Death toll in Sri Lanka Easter attacks lowered by more than 100

The Sri Lankan Health Ministry on Thursday revised the death toll of Easter Sunday’s deadly terror attacks, lowering the number of those killed to 253.

That’s more than 100 less than the previous death toll, which stood at 359.

In a statement, the health ministry claimed the previous death toll released by the ministry was 290, and not 359 as reported by the media.

A Colombo police spokesman told CNN on Tuesday the death toll had risen to 359.

“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,” said the ministry statement. “Hence, counting an exact death toll is challenging.”

Scores of people were killed and hundreds injured on Sunday in a series of coordinated suicide bombings in Sri Lankan churches and hotels, carried out, authorities said, by a little-known terror group.

A massive international criminal investigation into the attacks is ongoing, with six foreign police agencies and Interpol assisting local police, including Scotland Yard from the UK and the FBI from the US.

CNN’s Ingrid Formanek reported from Colombo, while Dakin Andone reported and wrote this story in Atlanta. Journalists Sandun Arosha F’do in Colombo and Hasini Yatawatte in Atlanta contributed to this report.