Monday, 19 August, 2019

Multiple blasts hit Sri Lankan churches, hotels on Easter Sunday

Sri Lanka church bomb blasts live updates The first blast was reported from the capital Colombo while the second was in Negombo Sri Lanka church bomb blasts live updates The first blast was reported from the capital Colombo while the second was in Negombo
Patty Aguilar | 21 April, 2019, 12:55

Two explosions hit two churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, wounding at least 50 people, witnesses said.

Police cordon off the area after a explosion hit at St Anthony's Church in Kochchikade in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 21 April 2019.

Explosions were reported at the luxury Shangri-La Hotel and Cinnamon Grand in Colombo today, according to local reports.

The church posted photos of the attack on its Facebook page and pleaded for relatives to "come and help if your family members are there".

There were no immediate claims of responsibility. The Associated Press reports 283 people are injured.

Sri Lankan security forces in 2009 defeated Tamil Tiger rebels who had fought to create an independent homeland for the country's ethnic minority Tamils.

St. Anthony's Shrine and the three hotels where the blasts took place are in Colombo, and are frequented by foreign tourists.

The cause of the attacks are unclear.

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Explosions have been reported from three churches and three hotels in the country.

The first blast ripped through St Anthony's Shrine in Colombo.

"We pray for the souls of the victims and ask for speedy recovery of the injured, and ask God to inspire the terrorists to repent of their killing and intimidation", the statement said.

Australian leader Scott Morrison said his country's "thoughts and prayers are with the lovely people of Sri Lanka at this hard time".

A security official says six near simultaneous blasts have hit three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. Three of those were at hotels, while another was reported from a church in the town of Batticaloa.

Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has called an emergency meeting in response to the attacks.

"There are a lot of people injured, some of them in critical condition", said an unnamed source, adding that 254 people had been admitted to hospital in Colombo.

Crowds of hundreds are flooding Colombo hospitals to give blood, Sri Lankan social media accounts showed on Sunday evening.

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