Multiple blasts rock Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday
Six explosions rocked Sri Lanka in the early hours of Easter Sunday, three of which had targeted Christian Churches.
The first two explosions occurred almost simultaneously at St. Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade, Colombo, and St. Sebestian’s Church in Katuwapitiya Katana. Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara told RepublicNext that both explosions occurred between 8.45am and 9am, injuring scores of churchgoers.
Explosions were also reported from the Zion evangelical church in Batticaloa, and three luxury hotels in Colombo: the Shangri-La, the Kingsbury and the Cinnammon Grand.
According to the Director of the National Hospital in Colombo, the death toll now stands at 138, with nine foreigners among the dead. Nearly 300 people have undergone injuries including 13 foreigners. The death toll in Negombo alone was 50, according to Police.
President Maithriipala issuing a statement to the nation expressed his shock and dismay at the attack and urged the public to refrain from spreading misinformation. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe tweeted: “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. Please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation. The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation.”
Condemning the attack, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Fernando said he’s uncertain whether the attack was planned in Sri Lanka or planned elsewhere by foreign actors. He urged the Sri Lankan public to help the victims and also donate blood if possible.