Newspaper headlines: 'Innocent lives lost' in 'Easter massacre'

By BBC News

  • Published
Sri Lankan security forces secure the area around St. Anthony's Shrine after an explosion hit St Anthony's Church in KochchikadeImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
St Anthony's Shrine in the Kochchikade district of Colombo was one of three churches to be targeted

At St Anthony's Church in Colombo on Sunday, the worshippers closed their eyes in prayer - and then, says the Times, the carnage began.

The front page of the Daily Express has a stark image of the devastated church - and in common with the Daily Mirror uses the headline "Easter Massacre".

The Financial Times calls it the most lethal violence in the country since the end of its long civil war in 2009.

For the Guardian, the attacks were a shocking and heartbreaking blow to the hopes of an island still striving for a lasting peace.

In short, concludes the Daily Telegraph, an era of peace has been shattered by a new menace.

Many of the papers have the same photograph of a British woman and her two children who are feared dead after an explosion at a hotel. Anita Nicholson's husband, Ben, is reported to have survived.

The Sun features the account of a British doctor - who was on holiday with his family at another of the hotels that were targeted. He describes how they were woken by the blast and how the subsequent scenes left his wife and children traumatised.

In the Sri Lankan press, the FT talks of extremism engulfing the country. As a result, it reports, schools will be closed on Monday and on Tuesday all police leave has been cancelled and a curfew imposed.

The Daily Mirror says sources believe the suspects were part of a radical Islamist group.

Writing in the Sri Lanka Guardian, an expert in south Asian studies suggests the attacks were the work of Muslim extremists.

Here, the Daily Mail believes they had all the hallmarks of the Islamic State group, with suicide bombings targeting civilians.

The Daily Telegraph expresses concern about comments by the fertility regulator, Sally Cheshire, who believes some IVF clinics are offering older women false hope.

In an interview with the paper, she says some parts of the sector are using "blatant" sales tactics to exploit a vulnerable market.

The Telegraph argues that new guidance is needed - and if that does not work, then the government will have to step in.

Role abroad for royals

Reports that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex could in future spend part of the year in Africa prompt much comment.

Writing in the Mail, Robert Hardman says the couple would be following a great family tradition. He recalls how - as Princess Elizabeth - the Queen made her first foreign visit to Africa.

The Mirror thinks that with the couple having so much potential, finding them a suitable role will not be easy.

But the Sun reports that there are concerns within the royal household about the cost of the move. It suggests the security bill would top £1m a year.

Image source, Reuters
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Reports suggest plans are being drawn up to give Prince Harry and Meghan a major international role that could see them move abroad

The Times highlights new research which found a simple and cunning way to encourage teenagers to give up junk food and eat healthily.

Researchers in Texas say a group of 13-years-olds were given an account of the business practices of big food companies that spend billions on advertising to persuade people to eat sugary, fatty treats.

The idea was to prey on the natural rebelliousness of teenagers - and sure enough, says the paper, over the next three months they tended to opt for healthier food.