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140 killed in Sri Lanka blasts on Easter day

COLOMBO, April 21, 2019

About 140 people were killed and about 400 injured in explosions at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, police and hospital sources said.
 
At least six explosions have been reported in the country; three churches in Kochchikade, Negombo and Batticaloa were targeted during Easter services, said a BBC report.
 
The Shangri La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury hotels, all in Colombo, were also hit, it said.
 
Among those killed in Colombo were at least nine foreign nationals, hospital sources told the BBC.
 
Reuters quoted a police source as saying more than 50 people died in Negombo, while hospital sources in Batticaloa said at least 27 people had died there.
 
A hotel official at the Cinnamon Grand, near the prime minister's official residence, told AFP the explosion there had ripped through a restaurant, killing at least one person.
 
Easter Day bomb blasts at three Sri Lankan churches and three luxury hotels killed 138 people and wounded more than 400, hospital and police officials said, following a lull in major attacks since the end of the civil war 10 years ago.
 
In the St Sebastian’s church 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.
 
There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attacks in a country which was at war for decades with Tamil separatists until 2009 during which bomb blasts in the capital were common.
 
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called a national security council meeting at his home for later in the day.



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