The United States (US) has suspended the Cooperation Afloat and Readiness Training (CARAT) drill with Sri Lankan military scheduled to take place this week in wake of series of eight explosions that ripped through the country on Sunday.
The blasts were targeted at the island nation's Catholic churches and hotels. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attacks. The death toll has risen to 290 people including foreigners.
The spokesperson for Seventh fleet, Clay Doss offered condolences for the victims of the attack. According to his statement to Stars and Stripes, Doss said, "all US personnel involved in CARAT are accounted for" following the attacks, and they are now leaving the country.
Under the week-long exercise the US Navy and Marine Corps planned to interact with Sri Lankan military at sea to test communication, coordinate and respond to scenarios at sea to include maritime patrol operations; manoeuvring exercises; surface gunnery drills; visit, board, search and seizure drills; vertical replenishments operations; flight operations and search and rescue swimmer exercises.
The Navy spokesman also said that upon leaving, CARAT exercise will continue with other nations this year, including Brunei, Indonesia and Thailand.