My daughter could not even recognise me: Sri Lanka blast survivor recalls horror

Ab Nirmala had just recounted how a day earlier she had found her daughter alive amid the body parts and bloody corpses strewn across the nave of St Anthony’s Church, when a car exploded outside her home, plunging the 54-year-old woman deeper into the trauma consuming all of Sri Lanka.

Scared and confused, she wheeled about her living room, exclaiming in distress and calling for a relative, not knowing that the blast on the street below her balcony was the result of a controlled explosion by police looking for suspected bombs.

A day earlier, she had been among the congregation celebrating morning mass on Easter Sunday at the church in Colombo tar