For Sri Lanka’s children, the deepest scars may not be physical

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Of the more than 250 people who died in suicide attacks Easter morning, officials believe that as many as 50 were children.

Dozens more were badly wounded. A 7-year-old in the hospital lost an eye, a 4-year-old was in a coma. Many, sprayed with lethal shrapnel, suffered internal injuries, some were covered in burns.

The deepest scars may not be physical.

Countless young people bore witness to some of the most horrific scenes imaginable: broken, dismembered bodies; floors slicked with blood; parents virtually paralyzed with grief, clutching siblings’ coffins as they disappear into the earth.

For more than 25 years, ethnic tensions between the majority Sinhalese and the minority Tamils nearly tore this lush green island into two. But the war with the separatist Tamil Tigers ended in 2009, and the hope was that this generation would be Sri Lanka’s first in decades to be spared such violence.

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