Easter Sunday Blasts: Deadly explosion kills 207, Sri Lankan Prime Minister urges people to stay united and strong
- At least 207 people are dead and 450 others have been injured after a series of explosions hit churches and hotels in
- The churches were bombed as worshippers attended Easter Sunday service.
- The hotels targeted are among the most luxurious in Sri Lanka's capital. 35 foreigners have been killed, AFP cited hospital sources as saying.
Eight explosions in various locations have now been reported.
As of 1 pm, more than 400 people were wounded and hospitalized, reported Reuters.
At least 100 people reported killed in Sri Lanka attacks, with death toll expected to rise further https://t.co/L5KtZQxJIG— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) April 21, 2019
AFP news agency quoting Sri Lankan Police said the toll in
The blasts took place at three churches located at Kochchikade, Negombo and Batticaloa. The three hotels that were targeted are located in Colombo, and include Shangri La Colombo, Cinnamon Grand Colombo, and Kingsbury Hotel, according to media reports.
The Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, has urged the people to remain strong and united in the tragic time. The Prime Minister is reportedly going to conduct a national security council meeting at his house.
I strongly condemn the cowardly attacks on our people today. I call upon all Sri Lankans during this tragic time to remain united and strong. Please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation. The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation.— Ranil Wickremesinghe (@RW_UNP) April 21, 2019
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, in a special message read out on local news channels, has requested the people to remain calm and help the authorities in the investigation.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condemned the attack and said the country stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka.
Strongly condemn the horrific blasts in Sri Lanka. There is no place for such barbarism in our region. India stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka. My thoughts are with the bereaved families and prayers with the injured.— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 21, 2019
Indian President Ram Nath Kovind also condemned the attack.
India condemns the terror attacks in Sri Lanka and offers its condolences to the people and government of the country. Such senseless violence, aimed at innocent people, has no place in civilised society. We stand in complete solidarity with Sri Lanka #PresidentKovind— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) April 21, 2019
St. Sebastian’s church, which was among the target, posted pictures showing destructions and bloodshed after the blast on its Facebook Page and urged people to help. The post read “A bomb attack to our church please come and help if your family members are there”
No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Several peace messages "Pray For Sri Lanka" were trending on social media. Messages and prayers also poured in from celebrities.
Saddened to hear about the terror attacks in various parts of Sri Lanka. Strongly condemn these acts of terror. Hatred and violence will never overpower love, kindness and compassion. 🙏🏻 #SriLanka— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) April 21, 2019
Former Sri Lankan captain of the cricket team,
We as a county need to put away differences and get together at this crucial time to look after one another or we will not have this beautiful country for us or for our children.please don’t spread rumors on social media.We surely don’t need another war.#nototerrorism— Angelo Mathews (@Angelo69Mathews) April 21, 2019
A travel advisory had been issued by the US embassy in Colombo advising citizens to follow local security instructions and “exercise extreme caution.”
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Sunday that she was in touch with the Indian High Commissioner in Colombo as six explosions hit churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, killing at least 20 people.
"Colombo - I am in constant touch with Indian High Commissioner in Colombo. We are keeping a close watch on the situation," the Minister said in a tweet.
Devastated for Sri Lanka, especially the targeted Christian community. In a nation who has seen so much violence an… https://t.co/a3297hWuYK— Golriz Ghahraman (@golrizghahraman) 1555826450000
BREAKING: Multiple blasts hit Sri Lanka churches and hotels on Easter Sunday https://t.co/3Xn6pRk0kU https://t.co/FHAHmOUr4N— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) 1555824930000
Helpline numbers for Indian citizens in need of assistance or who seek clarification are: +94777903082, +94112422788, +94112422789, +94777902082 and +94772234176.