At least 138 have been killed and more than 400 injured following a series of attacks targeting churches and hotels around Sri Lanka’s capital and in the city of Negombo, according to local police. Video footage from Twitter of St. Anthony’s church in Kochikade in Columbo shows an explosion rip through the church. The blasts were reported in Colombo and Negombo, in the south-west of the country 37 kilometres apart, as Christians celebrate Easter Sunday.
I call upon all Sri Lankans during this tragic time to remain united and strong
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
The churches targeted were the St Anthony’s Chruch in Kochchikade and the St Sebestian’s Church in Katuwapitiya, Katana, as well as on in Batticaloa.
A Sri Lanka security official said six near-simultaneous blasts hit the churches and hotels.
An official said the church attacks are suspected to have been carried out by suicide bombers, but there are no immediate claims of responsibility for the attacks.
Officials have said more than 50 people were killed at St Sebastian’s church in Katuwapitiya.
Terrifying video show bloodied pews and bodies scattered across the ground.
Media reports 25 people were killed in the attack on the church in Batticaloa.
Nine foreign officials are among the dead, officials said.
A spokesman from the Foreign Office said: “We are aware of reports of a number of explosions in Sri Lanka, including Colombo, and we are urgently seeking information from the local authorities.
“British nationals in Sri Lanka should follow the instructions of the local authorities and check FCO travel advice for updates.”
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called a national security council meeting at his home for later in the day.
In a tweet, Mr Wickremesinghe 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.
“Please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation. The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation.”
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