Colombo: A series of eight blasts rocked the capital of Sri Lanka on Sunday morning, destroying three churches and as many five-star hotels while the seventh and the eighth explosions happened at noon.
At least 253 people have been killed in the blasts while around 400 are injured in the terrorist attack. Among those dead are 35 foreigners.
The first blast occurred in Colombo inside the St Anthony Church. The second bomb exploded in the Sebastian Church of Negombo outside the capital. The third blast occurred in the church of the eastern city of Batticaloa.
Terrorists targeted three hotels too: The Shangri La, The Cinnamon Grand and The Kingsbury.
The seventh bomb went off in front of the hotel of Dehiwala in Colombo.
The eighth blast happened in Colombo again.
Colombo National Hospital spokesman Dr Samindi Samarakun says that about 280 people have been admitted to the hospital.
News agency AFP’s statistics are different. It said that the highest number of casualties were registered in Colombo, where four five-star hotels were targeted and a church. After the bombing, the Sri Lankan Prime Minister convened an emergency meeting of the security committee.
“The blasts hit three high-end hotels and one church in Colombo, while two additional churches are targeted outside the capital, police say,” AFP tweeted.
— AFP news agency (@AFP) April 21, 2019
The first explosion occurred when people gathered in a church for Easter prayers. Police said that the first blast occurred at 8:45 AM local time. No organisation has taken responsibility for this attack so far.
The Sebastian Church of Ngemgbo wrote a Facebook post that read: “There is a bomb explosion in our church. Please come and help us.”
President of Sri Lanka Mathiripala Sirisena said he was in a state of shock since the news of the attack. He has appealed to the people to maintain peace.
Finance minister Mangala Samaraweera wrote on his Twitter timeline, “Easter Sunday bomb blasts in churches & hotels, killing many innocent people seems to be a well-coordinated attempt to create murder, mayhem & anarchy. All those who cherish democracy, freedom and economic prosperity must unite now with nerves of steel to defeat this heinous attempt.”
Easter Sunday bomb blasts in churches & hotels, killing many innocent people seems to be a well coordinated attempt to create murder,mayhem & anarchy.All those who cherish democracy,freedom & economic prosperity must unite now with nerves of steel to defeat this heinous attempt.
— Mangala Samaraweera (@MangalaLK) April 21, 2019
After the news of the blast in Colombo, Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted, “Colombo – I am in constant touch with Indian High Commissioner in Colombo. We are keeping a close watch on the situation.
Colombo – I am in constant touch with Indian High Commissioner in Colombo. We are keeping a close watch on the situation. @IndiainSL
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) April 21, 2019