At least 137 dead and 400 injured in Easter Sunday terror attack

Six near-simultaneous explosions hit three churches and three hotels in the early hours of Easter Sunday, killing 137 – including nine foreigners.

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A security official said it is suspected at least two of the blasts were caused by suicide bombers. Two further blasts followed hours later.

One church, St Anthony’s Shrine, and the three hotels are in the capital Colombo, and are frequented by foreign tourists.

The other two churches are in Negombo, a Catholic majority town north of Colombo, and the eastern town of Batticaloa.

National Hospital spokesman Dr Samindi Samarakoon said the wounded have been admitted to Colombo’s main hospital.

According to local media, at least 400 people have been admitted to area hospitals for treatment. Alex Agieleson, who was near the shrine, said buildings shook with the blast, and that a number of injured people were carried away in ambulances.

Local TV showed damage at the Cinnamon Grand, Shangri-La and Kingsbury hotels. Other blasts were reported at St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, a majority Catholic town north of Colombo, and at Zion Church in the eastern town of Batticaloa. St. Sebastian’s appealed for help on its Facebook page.

The explosion ripped off the roof and knocked out doors and windows at St. Sebastian’s, where people carried the wounded away from blood-stained pews, local TV footage showed.

Sri Lankan security officials said they were investigating. Police immediately sealed off the areas.

 

 

Metro