One of the terrorists waited in line for the buffet breakfast at a five-star hotel in Colombo and then blew himself up. The bomber had checked in under a false address the night before, claiming he was in the city on business, before unleashing terror on one of the hotel’s busiest days of the year.

A manager at the Cinnamon Grand hotel said the attacker had set off the horrific explosion in a packed restaurant. ‘‘There was utter chaos. It was 8.30 am and it was busy. There were families mostly.

The bomber was just about to be served when he set off the explosives which were strapped to his back, killing himself and numerous guests,’’ the manager recounted. The three hotels hit were the Shangri-La, the Kingsbury Hotel and the Cinnamon Grand – all of them in Colombo. Mostly these hotels are popular among foreigners.

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