At least 50 dead in series of blasts in Sri Lanka churches, hotels
April 21st, 2019 at 12:50 pm
At least 50 dead in series of blasts in Sri Lanka churches, hotels

Dhaka – A series of blasts in churches and hotels in Sri Lanka during the Easter services have killed at least 50 people, media reports quoting officials said on Sunday.

BBC reported that at least six explosions have been reported leaving more than 200 others wounded. Three churches in Kochchikade, Negombo and Batticaloa were targeted during Easter services.

The Shangri La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury hotels, all in Colombo, were also rocked by the blasts during the Easter, one of the major feasts in the Christian calendar.

Blasts at a church in Sri Lanka killed at least 50 people and wounded more than 200 others – photo by social media collection

Images on social media showed the inside of one of the churches – St Sebastian’s in Negombo – with a shattered ceiling and blood on the pews.

Sri Lankan media reported that foreign tourists may be among the casualties.

The death toll is likely to go up as local media reported the condition of the wounded are reported to have critical.

A hotel official at the Cinnamon Grand, near the prime minister’s official residence, said the explosion there had ripped through a restaurant, killing at least one person.

President Maithripala Sirisena has issued a statement calling for people to remain calm and support the authorities in their investigations.

On Twitter, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the attacks appeared to be a “well-co-ordinated attempt to create murder, mayhem and anarchy” and had killed “many innocent people”.

Another minister, Harsha de Silva, described “horrible scenes” at St Anthony’s Shrine in Kochchikade, saying he had seen “many body parts strewn all over”.

No-one has yet said they were responsible for the attacks.

There have been fears that returning fighters from the Islamic State group could pose a threat in the country.

There has been some sporadic violence in Sri Lanka, with members of the majority Buddhist Sinhala community attacking mosques and Muslim-owned properties. It led to a state of emergency being declared in March 2018.