Sri Lanka blasts LATEST updates: As the toll rose to 207, the Sri Lankan government said that the explosions on Sunday morning appeared to be a result of suicide bombings carried out by one group.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday condemned a wave of bombings against Sri Lankan churches and tourist spots.
Merkel urged that the “religious hate and intolerance” that have showed themselves in such a terrible way today must not win”.”It is shocking that people who gathered to celebrate Easter together were consciously targeted in this malicious attack,” Merkel said in a condolence telegram published by a spokeswoman on Twitter.
Macron said that “Full solidarity with the Sri Lanka people and our thoughts for all those close to the victims this Easter.”
The eighth blast that occurred in the afternoon in Sri Lanka’s Colombo has killed three, AFP reported. The report quoted police as saying that the eighth was a suicide bomb.
An eight blast has been reported from Colombo’s Orugodawatta, however, no casualties have been reported so far.
A new blast hit the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo on Sunday, police said, the eighth explosion in the country in a single day. Police said the blast hit the suburb of Orugodawatta in the north of the capital, but there were no further details on what was targeted.
Nearly 160 people have been confirmed dead so far in the string of attacks targeting hotels and churches.
State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardena said that an Islandwide curfew might be imposed until safety is assured. The minister also said that all necessary precautions have been taken to ensure safety of public.
The nature of the blasts was not immediately clear and there were no claims of responsibility so far, but documents seen by AFP show that Sri Lanka’s police chief Pujuth Jayasundara issued an intelligence alert to top officers 10 days ago, warning that suicide bombers planned to hit “prominent churches”.
“A foreign intelligence agency has reported that the NTJ (National Thowheeth Jama’ath) is planning to carry out suicide attacks targeting prominent churches as well as the Indian high commission in Colombo,” the alert said.
A seventh blast has been reported in a suburb of Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo. Two people have died in this incident, taking the toll to 156.
In a bid to curb fake news and rumor-mongering, the Sri Lankan government is contemplating blocking WhatsApp and Viber. Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena is likely to pass an order regarding the same.
The toll in the explosions that occurred across Sri Lanka on Sunday morning has risen to 141, reports said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the blast and said that there was “no place for such barbarism in our region”. He added, “India stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka. My thoughts are with the bereaved families and prayers with the injured.”
Easter breakfast celebrations were underway in the three hotels the explosions occurred, reporters said. Toll rises to 141, sources said. A curfew is likely to be imposed.
Sri Lanka prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe tweeted after six explosions rocked the country on Sunday morning, as blasts occurred in three churches and three five-star hotels. He said,”I strongly condemn the cowardly attacks on our people today.”
At latest count, 138 people have been killed in the series of explosions across Sri Lanka on Sunday morning. Sources said that there were 62 casualties in Negombo, while 42 people had died at the National Hospital. In Batticaloa there were 27 casualties reported while Colombo North reported 7 people dead.
At least 52 people were killed in Sri Lanka on Sunday, police told AFP, when a string of blasts ripped through high-end hotels and churches as worshippers attended Easter services.
A police official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said at least 42 people were killed in Colombo, where three hotels and a church were hit. Another 10 people were confirmed dead in the town of Batticaloa, in the east of the country, where another church was targeted.
There were also reports of casualties in a blast at a church north of the capital and the toll was expected to rise. The nature of the blasts was not immediately clear and there were no immediate claims of responsibility.
President Maithripala Sirisena addressed the nation in view of the series of explosions that hit Sri Lanka on Sunday morning. Three chruches and three five-star hotels were targeted. Sirisena appealed for calm and said that all security personnel has been deployed to investigate the incident.
The Sri Lankan information department has issued a statement warning against spreading rumors about the incident.
An emergency meeting has been called by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in view of the blast and 200 troops of Army have been deployed in the affected area.
At least 40 people are dead and over 260 have been injured in the series of six explosions in Colombo on Sunday morning, sources in the Colombo National Hospital said. Several injured people have been admitted to the hospital.
Sri Lanka was rocked by multiple explosions on Sunday morning targeting three churches, two in Kochchikade and Katana in Colombo and the third in Batticaloa, in the Eastern Province of the country during Easter mass. Meanwhile, explosions were also reported at two five-star hotels in Colombo.
The churches hit were in the north of the capital, and the town of Negombo, just outside Colombo, News18 reported.
One of the explosions was a St Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade of the capital, Colombo. Another church in Katuwapitiya, Katana was also hit. According to local reports, another explosion was reported at a church in Batticaloa.
Explosions were reported at the luxury Shangri-La Hotel and Cinnamon Grand in Colombo today, according to local reports.
Bomb blast is being reported from Sri Lanka. Churches & Five star hotels in Colombo… https://t.co/9KjrLm6dLf
— Karthigaichelvan S (@karthickselvaa) April 21, 2019
It was not immediately clear if the blasts had caused casualties. At least 80 people have been injured in two blasts at churches in Sri Lanka as worshippers attended Easter Sunday services, AFP reported.
“Eighty people have already been admitted, and more are still coming in,” an official at the Colombo National Hospital told AFP on condition of anonymity.
With inputs from AFP
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