UPDATE: Churches, hotels targeted in Sri Lankan suicide bomb attacks
UPDATE: At least seven blasts have been reported across Sri Lanka.
Three churches in Negombo, Batticaloa and Colombo’s Kochchikade district were targeted during Easter services. A fourth hotel, also in Colombo, was also hit.
At least 67 people are reported to have died at St Sebastian’s church.
The site of the first blast was St Anthony’s, a hugely popular shrine in Kochchikade, a district of Colombo. Heavy casualties have been reported.
Fuel your faith every Friday with our weekly newsletter
Hospital sources told BBC that among those killed in Colombo were at least nine foreign nationals.
Hospital sources in Batticaloa say at least 27 died there.
The seventh explosion, reported later, was at a hotel near the zoo in Dehiwala, southern Colombo. Police sources report two deaths.
News is emerging of a possible eighth explosion, in the Colombo district of Dematagoda – but has not yet been confirmed.
[21 April 2019]
Two churches and three luxury hotels in Sri Lanka have been attacked on Easter Sunday with a death toll of 138 as Eternity files this story. Over 500 people have been wounded.
“In just one church, St. Sebastian’s in Katuwapitiya, north of Colombo, more than 50 people had been killed, a police official told Reuters, with pictures showing bodies on the ground, blood on the pews and a destroyed roof.”
The Church’s Facebook page simply says: “A bomb attack to our church please come and help if your family members are there.” Christians from around the world have begun posting comments assuring the church of their prayers.
25 people were also killed in an attack on a church in Batticaloa in Eastern Province, according to Reuters (relying on local media). Siyatha News reports that it is the Zion Church in Batticaloa.
Some Sri Lankan media report that a third church in Negombo was also attacked. Early reports suggest that all three churches are Catholic.
It has been ten years since a fierce civil war in Sri Lanka finished, but no claims of responsibility for these blasts have so far come to light. The hotels have been identified as the Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury hotels.
The image published with this story is a cropped version of one published on the St. Sebastian Katuwapitiya Facebook site.