Almost 180 and more people were killed as eight serial blasts rocked Sri Lanka early on Sunday. The first six explosions hit three churches and three luxury hotels in Colombo and other parts of the country. There were also explosions at a guest house near the zoo and in a residential area of Colombo.
The first explosion was reported around 8 am. Army was called in when later around 2 pm, as the country was still counting its dead, two more blasts were reported in Colombo.
“I call upon all Sri Lankans during this tragic time to remain united and strong. Please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation. The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation,” Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, said on Twitter.
Three churches — last Anthony’s Church in Colombo, St Sebastian’s Church in the western coastal town of Negombo and another church in the eastern town of Batticaloa — were targeted.
“Altogether, we have information of 207 dead from all hospitals. According to the information as of now we have 450 injured people admitted to hospitals,” police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera told reporters.
The Sri Lankan government has declared a curfew with immediate effect. Social media and messaging services have also been suspended in the country following the latest round of explosions.
“Strongly condemn the horrific blasts in Sri Lanka. There is no place for such barbarism in our region. India stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka. My thoughts are with the bereaved families and prayers with the injured,” tweeted the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemning the attack.
The government has declared two days’ holiday in schools in Sri Lanka after the blasts shocked the nation on Sunday.