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Crisis/Conflict/Terrorism
Sri Lanka rocked by eight blasts on Easter Sunday, 207 killed

Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 21 Apr 2019 Print

Sri Lanka rocked by eight blasts on Easter Sunday, 207 killed

Xinhua/UNI

Colombo: Eight blasts rocked Sri Lanka and left 207 people killed on a day when the Island Nation was celebrating Easter Sunday.

The attacks left over 400 people injured, leaving the world condemning the incident which disrupted peace in the nation that has witnessed civil wars in the past.

The death toll from the blasts has risen to 207, according to a police spokesman, reported CNN.

Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution Harsha de Silva said seven people have been arrested so far in connection with the incidents.

"@RWijewardene says 7 people under arrest for morning attacks that killed at least 160 people including perhaps close to 30 foreigners (Source: Sec/Foreign Affairs) at meeting now w heads of media. Asks for responsible reporting," he tweeted.

Blasts were reported from three churches and several other hotels in the city.

The churches were identified as St Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade, St. Sebastian's church in the nearby city of Negombo and Zion Church in the eastern city of Batticaloa.

The first blast occurred at 8.45 am in St Anthony's Church in Kochchikade and the other at St Sebestian's Church in Katuwapitiya, Katana.

Shortly after those blasts were reported, police confirmed three hotels in the capital had also been hit, along with a church in the town of Batticalao, in the east of the country.

The police said explosions also occurred at Shangri-La Hotel and Kingsbury Hotel in the capital.

As per initial reports the injured have been shifted to nearby hospitals. The dead included foreigners, a minister said.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe urged all to remain united and strong and not be swayed by speculations or unverified reports.

Police in Sri Lanka will impose an island-wide curfew starting Sunday from 6pm local (8:30aET Sunday), finishing at 6am local (8:30pET Sunday) on Monday morning, according to the President's Secretary, Udaya R. Seneviratne, reported CNN.

The government has imposed temporary ban on several popular social media platforms like Facebook and Whatsapp.

Several top leaders across the globe, including US President Donald Trump and Indian PM Narendra Modi, condemned the attack and offered their help to the Island Nation in the hour of crisis.

Meanwhile, two names of suspected suicide bomber, who might be associated with the blasts, have emerged.

The attack at Shangri La hotel was carried out by suicide bomber Zahran Hashim, while Abu Mohammad has been identified as the attacker at the Batticalao church, reported CNN News 18 website.