Suicide bombers kill over 200 people and wound 450 more in ‘targeted attack on Christians’ on Easter Sunday

By Mailonline and Afp 

A string of blasts hit high-end hotels and churches in Sri Lanka this morning, injuring hundreds of people as worshippers attended Easter services in a ‘coordinated, targeted attack on Christians’.

The death toll of people killed by suicide bombers has so far risen to more than 200 people, while  some 450 more got wounded in ‘targeted attack on Christians’ on Easter Sunday as six devastating explosions hit churches and hotels in Sri Lanka

  • A string of blasts hit high-end hotels and churches in Sri Lanka this morning, killing at least 129 people
  • more than 400 people were said to have been injured after six near-simultaneous explosions
  • Two of the Easter Sunday blasts are suspected to have been carried out by suicide bombers, an official said 

Two of the blasts were suspected to have been carried out by suicide bombers, according to one security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak with reporters.

The fatalities include at least 42 people killed in Colombo, where three hotels and a church were hit, and another 10 dead in the town of Batticoloa, where a church was attacked.

An official at the Batticaloa hospital said 300 people had been admitted with injuries following the blast there.

The first explosions were reported at St Anthony's Church in Colombo and St Sebastian's in the town of Negombo just outside the capitalThe first explosions were reported at St Anthony’s Church in Colombo and St Sebastian’s in the town of Negombo just outside the capital

Debris is seen at St Anthony's church after explosions hit churches and hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Easter SundayDebris is seen at St Anthony’s church after explosions hit churches and hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday

Pictured: The aftermath following an explosion at St Anthony's Church in Kochchikade in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 21 April 2019Pictured: The aftermath following an explosion at St Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 21 April 2019

Sri Lankan soldiers secure the area around St. Anthony's Shrine after a blast in Colombo on Easter Sunday this morningSri Lankan soldiers secure the area around St. Anthony’s Shrine after a blast in Colombo on Easter Sunday this morning

The country's Prime Minister has called an emergency security council meeting after the bombings, a source said (pictured: Outside Colombo)The country’s Prime Minister has called an emergency security council meeting after the bombings, a source said (pictured: Outside Colombo)

The first blasts were reported at St Anthony’s Church in Colombo and St Sebastian’s in the town of Negombo just outside the capital, with another reported at Zion Church in the eastern town of Batticaloa.

Local TV showed damage at the Cinnamon Grand, Shangri-La and Kingsbury hotels.

The explosion ripped off the roof and knocked out doors and windows at St. Sebastian’s, where people carried the wounded away from blood-stained pews, local TV footage showed.

Sri Lankan security officials said they were investigating. Police immediately sealed off the areas.

Pictured: A woman is helped near St Anthony's Shrine after a blast in Colombo. At least 160 people injured in the St Anthony's blast had been admitted to the Colombo National Hospital by mid-morning, an official saidPictured: A woman is helped near St Anthony’s Shrine after a blast in Colombo. At least 160 people injured in the St Anthony’s blast had been admitted to the Colombo National Hospital by mid-morning, an official said

Police officers inspect the scene after a explosion hit St Anthony's Church in ColomboPolice officers inspect the scene after a explosion hit St Anthony’s Church in Colombo

Ambulances are seen outside the church premises with gathered people and security personnelAmbulances are seen outside the church premises with gathered people and security personnel

Two of the blasts were suspected to have been carried out by suicide bombers, according to one security officialTwo of the blasts were suspected to have been carried out by suicide bombers, according to one security official

The country’s Prime Minister has called an emergency security council meeting after the bombings, a source said.

At least 160 people were injured in the St Anthony’s blast had been admitted to the Colombo National Hospital by mid-morning, an official said.

‘A bomb attack to our church, please come and help if your family members are there,’ read a post in English on the Facebook page of the St Sebastian’s Church at Katuwapitiya in Negombo.

Shortly after those blasts were reported, police confirmed three hotels in the capital had also been hit, along with a church in the town of Batticalao, in the east of the country.

Photos circulating on social media showed the roof of one church had been almost blown off in the blast.

The floor was littered with a mixture of roof tiles, splintered wood and blood.

Several people could be seen covered in blood, with some trying to help those with more serious injuries.

Only around six percent of mainly Buddhist Sri Lanka is Catholic, but the religion is seen as a unifying force because it includes people from both the Tamil and majority Sinhalese ethnic groups.

St Anthony’s Shrine and the three hotels where the blasts took place are in Colombo, and are frequented by foreign tourists.

Alex Agieleson, who was near the shrine, said buildings shook with the blast, and that a number of injured people were carried away in ambulances.

Source: Daily Mail

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Elias Hakizimana

Elias Hakizimana, CEO&Founder of The Inspirer Ltd,(www.rwandainspirer.com) is a professional Rwandan Journalist with Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communication, received from University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) in 2014. He served various media houses in Rwanda including Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) in 2013 and became passionate with English Online and Print Media Publications where he exercised his talent as a Freelance News Reporter for The New Times, The Independent, The Rwanda Focus, Panorama and more before he became a Self-Entrepreneur as the CEO and Founder of The Inspirer Limited in early 2017.

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