Hudson Valley residents with ties to Sri Lanka share in loss after Easter attack

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DUTCHESS COUNTY -

Many Hudson Valley residents with ties to Sri Lanka are sharing in the loss of the Easter attack that killed at least 207 people in eight blasts across Sri Lankan churches and hotels.

The eight blasts that rocked churches and hotels in and just outside Sri Lanka's capital on Easter Sunday, officials said, have pitched the South Asian island nation into the worst chaos it has seen since a bloody civil war ended a decade ago – and the effects of the aftermath are felt across the world.

Wadira Alawadla, an employee of a Sri Lankan restaurant in Wappingers, is the mother-in-law of a relative who was in one of the churches with her family.

MORE - 'Panic mode': Witness describes aftermath of Sri Lanka bombs

“She's saying that when the incident happened, she had two relatives in the church and they're injured and in the hospital.  She's so sad… She's crying,” says Alawadla’s interpreter Saman Munaweera.

Munaweera went on to tell News 12 that he believes the attacks were coordinated and strategic, noting the blasts falling primarily in regions where Christians live.

He says the attack on both coasts has rattled war-tired people.

"We had like 30 years of war, civil war, so we just finished more than 10 years peacefully living so again this has started... everyone started crying,” he says.

Wappingers resident Alresch Jayawardena, a guest at the restaurant, described waking up early in the morning when notifications flooded his phone, scrambling to find out if his loved ones were OK.

Jayawardena said that he hopes his country roots out the terrorism quickly and remains strong.

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