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Attacks in Sri Lanka: more than 200 deaths according to the latest official report

A series of explosions bloodied on Easter Sunday the capital Colombo and other cities of the country. These attacks including churches and luxury hotels have not been claimed, however eight people were arrested. Pope Francis said he was on the side of Christians struck by “mourning and pain”.

Bloody Easter in Sri Lanka. At least 207 people have been killed and more than 450 others injured in bombings that have hit Christians on Sunday in three churches and three luxury hotels in Sri Lanka, authorities said.

At least twenty-seven foreign nationals are among the victims. The British Foreign Ministry confirmed that British had been killed and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that several Americans also, without any have communicated their number. According to the available information, Danes, Turks, Indians, Chinese, Dutch and Portuguese have also been killed. There are more than 50 people killed in a single church, St. Sebastian in Katuwapitiya, north of Colombo, according to several media reports. Two more explosions, killing at least two people, occurred one hour after the first attacks.

No claim

Twenty-five others were killed in an attack on a church in Batticaloa in Eastern Province, where Easter Mass was celebrated. These attacks have not been claimed, but the Prime Minister announced that eight people had been arrested. The country had been relatively quiet since the end of the 2009 civil conflict with the Tamil separatists.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said he was shocked by the explosions. For his part, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said on Twitter that the attacks had killed “many innocent people” and appeared “a coordinated attempt to bring about killings, chaos, and anarchy.”

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe convened a meeting of the National Security Council. “The government has decided to block all social media platforms in order to prevent the spread of incorrect and false information. This is only a temporary measure, “he said.

Political reactions

The attacks sparked  a wave of reactions worldwide.  Pope Francis said he was on the side of Christians struck by “mourning and pain,” while in a tweet, French President Emmanuel Macron condemned “heinous acts.”

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker expressed his “horror” and “sadness”. For her part, British Prime Minister Theresa May denounced “acts of violence […] really appalling”.


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