Easter Day bomb blasts kill more than 20 in Sri Lankan churches, hotels

World

Sri Lankan military officials stand guard in front of the St. Anthony’s Shrine, Kochchikade church after an explosion in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

COLOMBO (Reuters) – Easter Day bomb blasts at three Sri Lankan churches and three hotels killed more than 20 people and wounded nearly 300, a hospital official and police sources said.

Colombo National Hospital Director Samindi Samrakoon said she knew of at least 20 deaths and 280 people injured.

A police spokesman said that three churches and three hotels were hit.

At least two of the hotels and one of the churches are in the capital, Colombo. Another church is in Negombo, north of Colombo.

A source in the police bomb squad said that one of the explosions was at St Anthony’s Church in Kochcikade, Colombo.

“Our people are engaged in evacuating the casualties,” the source said.

St. Sebastian’s church at Katuwapitiya in Negombo posted pictures of destruction inside the church on its Facebook page, showing blood on pews and the floor, and requested help from the public.

Sources from two leading tourist hotels in Colombo also confirmed the explosions but did not give any details.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility.

Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Edited by Martin Howell

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