Some were celebrating one of the holiest days in Christianity. Some were working at Colombo hotels. Some were sitting down to brunches of shrimp and chicken and dim sum and sticky rice pudding and tables of food that seemed to go on forever.

They were mostly Sri Lankan, but also British, American, Indian, Danish, Chinese and more. They were children. They were parents.

And suddenly, in three churches and three high-end hotels, their lives intersected with suicide bombers who, authorities say, wanted to wreak vengeance on what they see as a world of infidels.

FILE- In this Wednesday, April 24, 2019 file photo, Anusha Kumari, center, weeps during a mass burial for her husband, two children and three siblings, all victims of Easter Sunday's bomb attacks, in Negombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe, File)
FILE- In this Wednesday, April 24, 2019 file photo, Anusha Kumari, center, weeps during a mass burial for her husband, two children and three siblings, all victims of Easter Sunday’s bomb attacks, in Negombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe, File)

Roughly 250 people died in six coordinated suicide bombings that ripped through Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. The three hotels and two of the churches were in or around Colombo, the capital. One was a Protestant church in the distant seaside town of Batticaloa.

Sri Lanka has a long history of communal strife, with a 26-year civil war that pitted the majority Sinhalese against minority Tamils fighting for their own homeland. Sri Lanka’s small Christian community, though, which includes both Tamil and Sinhalese, largely avoided being drawn in directly.

But since the war ended in 2009, the country’s minority Muslim community has become an increasingly common target of bigotry, sometimes facing mobs inflamed by Buddhist nationalists. And quietly, according to authorities, the most extreme forms of Islam were taking root in a small community of Muslims, some of whom they say had links to the Islamic State group, which once controlled wide swathes of Iraq and Syria.

EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - FILE - In this Sunday, April 21, 2019 file photo, dead bodies of victims lie inside St. (AP Photo/Chamila Karunarathne, File)
EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT – FILE – In this Sunday, April 21, 2019 file photo, dead bodies of victims lie inside St. (AP Photo/Chamila Karunarathne, File)

In the days since Easter, the pain has often seemed inconceivable: entire families wiped out, wailing mothers weeping at the tiny coffins of their children, stunned priests staring at the devastation wrought in churches where the walls are now spattered with shrapnel, blood and bits of gore.

Authorities warn the trouble may not be over, and say more attacks could be coming.

___

FILE - In this Monday, April 22, 2019 file photo, clergymen visit the scene of a suicide bombing at St. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe, File)
FILE – In this Monday, April 22, 2019 file photo, clergymen visit the scene of a suicide bombing at St. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe, File)
FILE - In this Monday, April 22, 2019 file photo, relatives weep by the coffin of 12-year Sneha Savindi, a victim of Easter Sunday's bombing at St. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe, File)
FILE – In this Monday, April 22, 2019 file photo, relatives weep by the coffin of 12-year Sneha Savindi, a victim of Easter Sunday’s bombing at St. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe, File)
FILE - In this Sunday April 21, 2019, file photo, a Sri Lankan Police officer inspects a blast spot at the Shangri-la hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/Chamila Karunarathne, file)
FILE – In this Sunday April 21, 2019, file photo, a Sri Lankan Police officer inspects a blast spot at the Shangri-la hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/Chamila Karunarathne, file)
FILE- In this Thursday, April 25, 2019 file photo, a statue of St. James stands on a wall speckled with fragments of shrapnel at St. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup, File)
FILE- In this Thursday, April 25, 2019 file photo, a statue of St. James stands on a wall speckled with fragments of shrapnel at St. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup, File)
FILE - In this Monday, April 22, 2019 file photo, a Sri Lankan woman, who lives near St. Anthony's shrine, runs for safety with her infant after police found explosive devices in a parked vehicle in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
FILE – In this Monday, April 22, 2019 file photo, a Sri Lankan woman, who lives near St. Anthony’s shrine, runs for safety with her infant after police found explosive devices in a parked vehicle in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
FILE - In this Wednesday, April 24, 2019 file photo, a security officer stands guard outside St. Anthony's Shrine where bombing was carried out on Easter Sunday, in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe, File)
FILE – In this Wednesday, April 24, 2019 file photo, a security officer stands guard outside St. Anthony’s Shrine where bombing was carried out on Easter Sunday, in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe, File)
FILE - In this Friday, April 26, 2019 file photo, a Sri Lankan Muslim boy looks out from the window of a Mosque before Friday prayers in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup, File)
FILE – In this Friday, April 26, 2019 file photo, a Sri Lankan Muslim boy looks out from the window of a Mosque before Friday prayers in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup, File)
FILE - In this Thursday, April 25, 2019 file photo, sunlight steams in from gaping holes, as a surveyor works at St. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup, File)
FILE – In this Thursday, April 25, 2019 file photo, sunlight steams in from gaping holes, as a surveyor works at St. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup, File)
FILE - In this Thursday, April 25, 2019 file photo, ten-day-old Ahmadi Muslim infant Amdad Ahamed sleeps at a community center, where his family has taken refuge in for fear of retaliation towards their community after the Easter Sunday bombings, in Pasyala, north east of Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe, File)
FILE – In this Thursday, April 25, 2019 file photo, ten-day-old Ahmadi Muslim infant Amdad Ahamed sleeps at a community center, where his family has taken refuge in for fear of retaliation towards their community after the Easter Sunday bombings, in Pasyala, north east of Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe, File)
FILE - In this Friday, April 26, 2019 file photo, Sri Lankan Muslims talk and pray before the start of Friday prayers inside a mosque, in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup, File)
FILE – In this Friday, April 26, 2019 file photo, Sri Lankan Muslims talk and pray before the start of Friday prayers inside a mosque, in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup, File)
FILE - In this Thursday, April 25, 2019 file photo, Catholic nuns stand with a relative of a victim of Easter Sunday's bomb blast at St. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup, File)
FILE – In this Thursday, April 25, 2019 file photo, Catholic nuns stand with a relative of a victim of Easter Sunday’s bomb blast at St. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup, File)
FILE - In this Tuesday, April 23, 2019 file photo, Melton Roy prays by newly buried graves of victims of Easter Sunday's bomb explosion, at Methodist burial ground in Negombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe, File)
FILE – In this Tuesday, April 23, 2019 file photo, Melton Roy prays by newly buried graves of victims of Easter Sunday’s bomb explosion, at Methodist burial ground in Negombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe, File)
FILE - In this Monday, April 22, 2019 file photo, relatives place flowers after the burial of three from the same family, all victims of Easter Sunday's bomb blast at St. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe, File)
FILE – In this Monday, April 22, 2019 file photo, relatives place flowers after the burial of three from the same family, all victims of Easter Sunday’s bomb blast at St. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe, File)
FILE - In this Wednesday, April 24, 2019 file photo, Buddhist monks offer prayers during a ceremony to invoke blessings on the dead and wounded from Sunday's bombings, at the Kelaniya temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup, File)
FILE – In this Wednesday, April 24, 2019 file photo, Buddhist monks offer prayers during a ceremony to invoke blessings on the dead and wounded from Sunday’s bombings, at the Kelaniya temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup, File)
FILE- In this Friday, April 26, 2019 file photo, Sri Lankan policemen patrol a Muslim neighborhood before Friday prayers in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
FILE- In this Friday, April 26, 2019 file photo, Sri Lankan policemen patrol a Muslim neighborhood before Friday prayers in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
FILE - In this Wednesday, April 24, 2019 file photo, coffins of victims of Easter Sunday's bombing lay at a mass burial ground in Katuwapitiya village in Negombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena, File)
FILE – In this Wednesday, April 24, 2019 file photo, coffins of victims of Easter Sunday’s bombing lay at a mass burial ground in Katuwapitiya village in Negombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena, File)

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