Prayer vigil for Sri Lanka to take place in Surrey Monday evening

Among the Britons feared dead are Anita Nicholson 42 and her 11-year-old son Alex

Among the Britons feared dead are Anita Nicholson 42 and her 11-year-old son Alex

The string of attacks on churches and hotels in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, and one in the outskirts of the city, killed at least 290 people and wounded almost 500. The mayor of Pontecesures in northwest Spain, Juan Manuel Vidal, tells Radio Galega he knew the local pair and says they were in their 30s, according to a report by Spanish private news agency Europa Press.

Authorities said the main attacks - on churches and hotels - were carried out by seven suicide bombers.

The country is also implementing an emergency law that will allow police and authorities to detain suspects without a court order. An 8 pm curfew has also gone into effect for citizens. The attack, which included a total of nine bomb blasts, is being reported as one of the worst of its kind since September 11. The government also declared Tuesday as a national day of mourning.

It was the first major attack since the end of a civil war 10 years ago. The history of Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka, a country of 21 million including large Hindu, Muslim and Christian minorities, is rife with ethnic and sectarian conflict.

Washington has pledged investigative assistance and is sending Federal Bureau of Investigation agents to help support Sri Lankan police in the probe, The Washington Post reported.

While no official party has come forward to admit to the attacks, police have reportedly apprehended 13 suspects.

"We do not believe these attacks were carried out by a group of people who were confined to this country", Senaratne said.

The U.S. State Department is warning that terrorists could still be active in the area, so they've issued a Level 2 travel advisory, which states that anyone traveling to Sri Lanka should "exercise increased caution". Two officials provided The Washington Post with the three-page intelligence report that the health minister alluded to, in which a senior police official warned of potential suicide attacks by the same Islamist extremist group.

It was not immediately clear what action, if any, was taken in response to the tip-off.

Questions over why the intelligence warning was not acted upon could feed into a feud between Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the president.

The prime minister was not privy to security briefings following a rift previous year with President Maithripala Sirisena, cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne told a press conference.

Global experts said, even if a Sri Lankan group had carried out the attacks, it was likely that al Qaeda or Islamic State were involved given the level of sophistication of the apparently coordinated bombings.

Footage on CNN showed what it said was one of the bombers wearing a heavy backpack.

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the archbishop of Colombo, said at least 110 of the dead were killed at St. Sebastian's, making it the deadliest of the attacks. Dozens were killed there.

NTJ is a splinter group of the Sri Lanka Thowheeth Jamaat (SLTJ), a political group that fell under scrutiny for advocating hardline ideas on domestic issues - SLTJ's founder and secretary, Abdul Razik has been arrested several times on charges of inciting religious unrest.

Alexendria was a grade five pupil at an worldwide school in the capital.

The Sri Lankan government has blamed the National Thowheeth Jamaath, a local extremist group, for the deadly attacks that claimed the lives of almost 300 people but also suspects worldwide organisations may be involved.

Manik Suriaaratchi and her 10-year-old daughter Alexendria were killed in the terrorist attack which killed at least 290 people, with 500 others injured.