Death toll nears 300 in Sri Lanka church, hotel bombings
Death toll nears 300 in Sri Lanka church, hotel bombings
Sri Lanka explosions: What we know so far
23 April, 2019, 00:04
Imam Qari Asim MBE who is Imam at Leeds Mosque and the chair of Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board said he stands in solidarity with Christians around the world following the attacks.
In February-March previous year, there were a series of religious clashes between Sinhalese Buddhists and Muslims in the towns of Ampara and Kandy.
So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attacks but it is learnt that the Sri Lankan agencies are probing the global links of a local group which may have carried out the dastardly attacks.
Local media reported 25 people were killed in the attack.
Priests walk into the St Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade church, after a massive explosion in Colombo.
He tweeted: "I'm deeply shocked and saddened by the horrifying attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka".
At least eight explosions, some of which were suicide bombs, were reported on Sunday morning across Sri Lanka.
Here, exhausted medical staff take a rest outside the morgue in Batticaloa, after a bomb was set off in the city's Zion Church.
In a statement, the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo said that the hotel's Table One cafe was hit just after 9 a.m local time.
Some time later, there was another two explosions at a house in Dematagoda on the outskirts of Colombo during a police raid.
Hospital sources said British, Dutch and American citizens were among those killed, with Britons and Japanese also injured. "Please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation", Wickremesinghe tweeted.
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Amarasingam, a senior research fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, further explained that the country's population comprises of 12.6 percent Sri Lankan Tamils and 5.6 percent Indian Tamils, most of whom are Hindus, and speak Tamil.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton wrote on Twitter, "The US strongly condemns the horrific attacks in Sri Lanka on this Easter holiday".
He said that the blast took place after Easter Mass, and there were about 30 bodies lying in the area of the church.
The NTJ is a radical Muslim group in Sri Lanka that came to notice past year when it was linked to the vandalization of Buddhist statues.
The first wave of attacks struck during packed Easter Sunday services.
The heads of major governments condemned the attacks.
President Donald Trump said on social media the US stands prepared to help Sri Lankan authorities following the tragedy.
Pope Francis, addressing people in St Peter's Square, said, "I wish to express my affectionate closeness to the Christian community, hit while it was gathered in prayer, and to all the victims of such cruel violence".
More than 1,000 people had come to the one of the explosion sites, Sebastian's Church, according to Father Edmond Tillekeratne, social communications director for the Archdiocese of Colombo.
"People were being dragged out", said Bhanuka Harischandra, of Colombo, a 24-year-old founder of a tech marketing company who was going to the city's Shangri-La Hotel for a meeting when it was bombed.
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