Negombo struggles with scale of its loss as victims of Easter attack are buried in mass graves

A father with his arms around the shoulders of his two daughters. Parents and children posing for a family portrait. Dozens of black-and-white photographs of individuals. On posters and leaflets plastered across Negombo, the faces of the dead were everywhere on Tuesday, as mass funerals were held for those killed in Sunday’s terrorist attack.

Outside St Sebastian’s church, where at least 100 people were killed, a makeshift chapel was built under a tent in the courtyard. Throughout the morning, more than 20 coffins were carried in, one-by-one, before a mass funeral service. “There are so many bodies that we can’t accommodate them all at once,” said Anthony Jayakody, Colombo’s auxiliary bishop.

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