Sri Lanka declares curfew as blasts rock capital
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has declared as curfew as two more explosions were reported mid-day after six explosion in the morning left at least 138 including nine foreigners dead.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said he believed the incidents would have a serious impact on the stability of Sri Lanka and the economy.
Police curfew has been declared with immediate effect across the island. Curfew may be lifted depending on the situation in the morning officials said.
Schools and Universities had been closed, but no official holiday had been declared for commerical firms or state offices. Police spokesman Ruwan Gunaskera said staff of essential services like the airport could use their official ID cards as curfew passes.
Airline passengers could also use tickets as curfew passes to travel during curfew.
President secretary Udaya Seneviratne said extra security had been provided to Christian churches and hotels.
Explosions went off at churches in Colombo, Negambo and Baticaloa where devotees were celebrating Easter Mass. Bombs were also set off in Shangri La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury hotels in Colombo.
Two more explosions were reported in Dehiwala and Dematagoda both suburbs of the capital.
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Director General of Health Services Anil Jasinghe said 139 perssons had died and over 400 were injured in the morning blasts.
In Negombo 62 had died and 110 injured have been injined, 27 had died and 67 injured in Batticaloa, 7 dead and 24 injured at the Colombo North Teaching Hospital, and 42 dead and 200 injured at the National Hospital in Colombo.
President Maithripala Sirisena called for calm and said authorities were investigating the explosions.
Economic Affairs Minister Hasha de Silva said Sri Lanka’s security council was meeting in emergency session to take the next steps.
There was no information on who were behind the attacks, he said.
The incidents are the worst reported after a 30 year war ended in 2009. (Colombo/Apr21/2019-SB)