Two More Explosions Have Struck Sri Lanka Following Six Earlier Blasts

A further two explosions have struck the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo, following six more earlier today that were reported to have killed 137 people and injured hundreds more.

Police have said the death toll has now risen to 156 people, including 35 foreigners.

According to AFP, the seventh attack hit a hotel in the southern Colombo suburb of Dehiwala, after a string of explosions at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka's capital.

Police have confirmed that the eighth blast was a suicide bomb, and killed three.

Reuters India reports that the Sri Lankan government has now declared a curfew, with immediate effect.

It has also apparently shut down access to major social media messaging services.

The six earlier explosions hit three churches in Kochchikade, Negombo and Batticaloa - which were targeted during Easter services - along with the Shangri La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury hotels.

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

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 during the explosions in this situation. The President says that he will fulfil 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."

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.

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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