Easter Day Sri Lanka Bombings Leave Over 200 Dead & 400 Injured

Sri Lanka blasts,world news,Sri Lanka blasts easter

Sri Lanka blasts,world news,Sri Lanka blasts easter

The Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo, which was the site of one of the explosions, released a statement, saying it was one of the several locations in Colombo which were affected by this morning's attacks. Also, an area near Dehiwala Zoo in Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia and a house in Mahawila Gardens, Dematagoda, were attacked.

About 70.2% of Sri Lanka's population is Theravada Buddhist, according to a 2012 census, and it's the religion of the country's majority Sinhalese population.

In February-March previous year, there were a series of religious clashes between Sinhalese Buddhists and Muslims in the towns of Ampara and Kandy.

Three police officers were killed during a house raid in Mahawila Gardens - the site of the eight explosion.

At least three people have been arrested in connection with the attacks, police said, without providing further details. "We will provide an update once more information is available", the hotel said.

"Eighty people have already been admitted, and more are still coming in", an official at the Colombo National Hospital told AFP earlier on condition of anonymity.

Nearly 30 minutes later, he replaced the erroneous tweet and wrote: "138 people have been killed in Sri Lanka, with more that 600 badly injured, in a terrorist attack on churches and hotels". Officials say that more than 450 people were injured in the blasts. Twenty-eight people were killed in the eastern city of Batticaloa.

Two Muslim groups in Sri Lanka condemned the church attacks, as did countries around the world, and Pope Francis expressed condolences at the end of his traditional Easter Sunday blessing in Rome.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said "so far the names that have come up are local", but he said investigators would look into whether the attackers had any "overseas links".

He said there wasn't an adequate response and there needed to be an inquiry into how the information was used.

"These attacks demonstrate the brutal nature of terrorists whose sole aim is to threaten peace & security", Pompeo said in a tweet. Nine more foreigners were reported missing.

The Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, called on Sri Lanka's government to "mercilessly" punish those responsible "because only animals can behave like that". Gunasekera said the police suspected a suicide attack there. Images from inside the church showed shattered wooden pews and floors stained with blood.

Meanwhile, three suicide bombers that allegedly set off explosive devices in two hotels and a church were reportedly identified as Mohamed Azzam Mohamed, Zahran Hashim and Abu Mohammed, according to the media.

Three five-star hotels - the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury in Colombo - were also targeted.

The first attack allegedly took place at Colombo's St Anthony's Shrine Catholic church.

Mr Hunt said the death toll of five Britons killed in the attack was "the latest figure that I have heard".

There are 214 New Zealanders registered as being in Sri Lanka. "I am horrified by the attacks in Sri Lanka, where so many families were celebrating such a joyous day".

According to Deccan Chronicle, NTJ is a radical Muslim group in Sri Lanka that was linked past year to the vandalism of Buddhist statues. The Easter holiday has brought with it a awful massacre this year though.