The Sri Lankan government has lifted a ban on social media platforms, including Facebook, WhatsApp and Viber, after the sites were barred on hopes of putting a stop to the spread of rumours after the Easter Sunday bombings.

The move was welcomed by many local residents who hoped to gain "more information", as the city slowly recovers from the deadly attacks.

Sri Lankan security forces were maintaining a high level of alert amid intelligence reports that the militants were likely to strike before the beginning of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which is due to begin on 6 May.

Scores of suspected Islamists have been arrested in the multi-ethnic island nation after the 21 April suicide bomb attacks on hotels and churches.

At least 253 people were killed in the attacks.