A Catholic town at the center of Sri Lanka's deadly attacks

Relatives weep near the coffin with the remains of 12-year Sneha Savindi, who was a victim of Easter Sunday bombing at St. Sebastian Church, Monday, A...
Relatives cry near the coffin with the remains of 12-year Sneha Savindi, who was a victim of Easter Sunday bombing at St. Sebastian Church, after it r...
Dead bodies of victims lie inside St. Sebastian's Church damaged in blast in Negombo, north of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, April 21, 2019.  More than ...

Relatives weep near the coffin with the remains of 12-year Sneha Savindi, who was a victim of Easter Sunday bombing at St. Sebastian Church, Monday, A...

Relatives cry near the coffin with the remains of 12-year Sneha Savindi, who was a victim of Easter Sunday bombing at St. Sebastian Church, after it r...

Dead bodies of victims lie inside St. Sebastian's Church damaged in blast in Negombo, north of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, April 21, 2019. More than ...

NEGOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — The seaside Sri Lankan fishing town of Negombo has long been called "Little Rome," a reference to its many churches and its place at the center of the country's small Catholic community.

But it was also known for its tolerance. It has a well-known Buddhist temple and a mosque famed for its beauty. The Hindu god Rama is said to have been nearby before his great battle with the demon-king Ravana.

During Sri Lanka's bloody civil war, Negombo, about an hour north of the capital, Colombo, was largely spared violence.

But that changed Sunday when a bomb ripped through Negombo's St. Sebastian's Church, one of a half-dozen attacks on churches and high-end hotels that killed nearly 300 people. At least 110 were killed at St. Sebastian's, the day's deadliest attack.