Six blasts have been reported from Sri Lanka and the death toll has touched 138. About 400 people have been injured in the attack. 200 troops have been deployed to carry out rescue operation.
Colombo: At least 138 people have been believed to be killed and as many as 400 injured after simultaneous blasts rocked Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.
Local reports suggest that six explosions took place from three churches and three hotels frequented by tourists.
200 troops have been deployed to carry out the rescue operation.
The motive for the attacks remains unclear, and no individual or group has claimed responsibility yet.
The first blast was reported from St Anthony’s Church in Kochcikade in Colombo, the second from St Sebastian’s Church at Katuwapitiya in Negombo and third from a church in Batticaloa.
Three five-star hotels from where the blasts were reported are the Shangrila, the Cinnamon Grand, and the Kingsbury. The blasts occurred at around 8.45 am (local time) as Easter Sunday masses were in progress.
Also watch: Multiple explosions in two churches in Sri Lanka
PM Wickremesinghe condemned the attack saying, “I strongly condemn the cowardly attacks on our people today. I call upon all Sri Lankans during this tragic time to remain united and strong.”
He also asked people to avoid circulating unverified news. “Please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation. The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation,” he added.
Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted that she is in constant touch with the Indian High Commissioner in Colombo and is keeping a close watch on the situation.
All government schools in the island country will be closed on Monday and Tuesday.
The Sri Lanka government has called an emergency meeting, the Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution, Harsha de Silva, said in a tweet. "Emergency meeting called in a few minutes. Rescue operations underway," he tweeted.
The Indian Embassy in Sri Lanka has also put out emergency numbers for Indians in distress.
"Explosions have been reported in Colombo and Batticaloa today. We are closely monitoring the situation. Indian citizens in need of assistance or help and for seeking clarification may call the following numbers : +94777903082 +94112422788 +94112422789," the Embassy tweeted.
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Last Updated Apr 21, 2019, 1:39 PM IST