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 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.
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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