Multiple Bombs Kill 137 People In Sri Lanka In Easter Sunday Attack

At least 137 people have been killed and hundreds more injured in a series of targeted bomb attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, police and hospitals have said.

According to the BBC, six explosions have been reported, including at three churches in Kochchikade, Negombo and Batticaloa, which were targeted during Easter services.

The Shangri La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury hotels, which are all in Colombo, have also been struck.

Scenes near St. Anthony's Shrine after a blast in Colombo. Credit: PA
Scenes near St. Anthony's Shrine after a blast in Colombo. Credit: PA

Hospital sources have told the BBC that at least nine foreign nationals are among the deceased.

President Maithripala Sirisena has issued a statement calling for people to remain calm, urging them to support the authorities in their investigations.

The statement, which was posted on Facebook, roughly translates as: "The President says that he will expect all the people's support for the explosions in this situation. The President says that he will fulfill the responsibility of all the people in this regard.

"In the country, the people who are in the background of a sad incident are the ones who are saving the peace of the people, and the people who have taken the government action to get the fast investigations in the connection, the president has given their special report."

Sri Lankan Army soldiers secure the area around St. Anthony's Shrine. Credit: PA
Sri Lankan Army soldiers secure the area around St. Anthony's Shrine. Credit: PA

PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is also chairing an emergency meeting.

He said: "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."

In a tweet, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the attacks have killed 'many innocent people' and seemed to be a 'well-co-ordinated attempt' to create 'murder, mayhem and anarchy'.

So far, no group has come forward to claim responsibility for for the attacks.

More to follow.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

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