Sri Lanka terror attacks: Death toll revised down to 253

The death toll in Sri Lanka's Easter Day attack is around 100 fewer than the 359 originally thought, two top government officials have sai

"It could be 250 or 260. I can't exactly say. There are so many body parts and it is difficult to give a precise figure," Anil Jasinghe, the director general of Sri Lanka's health services told Reuters in a phone interview on Thursday.

Ruwan Wijewardene, Sri Lanka's deputy defence minister whose ministry is responsible for the island's police force, said the death toll had been revised down to 253 because of inaccurate figures provided by the country's morgues.

"Unfortunately the health ministry provided the earlier number to us," he said.

The eight violent terrorist attacks blasted churches and luxury hotels across the country.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the eight bombings on Tuesday, which officials believe were a direct retaliation for the Christchurch terror attacks last month.

Three sources told Reuters Sri Lankan intelligence officials had been warned hours earlier that Islamic attacks were imminent. It is not clear if any action was taken.