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The aftermath of an explosion in St. Anthony's Church, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

PHOTO BY AASHIK NAZARDEEN


DEVELOPING NEWS – Multiple blasts rock Sri Lanka. Follow the updates here

 

April 24: Death toll rises to 359

The death toll from a series of bombings in Sri Lanka has risen to 359, with more suspects arrested, police said on Wednesday (April 24).

Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said that 18 suspects were arrested overnight, bringing the total number of arrested suspects to 58.

Daesh has claimed responsibility for the attacks in churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Sunday.

April 22: Curfew lifted, 24 arrested

A curfew in Sri Lanka was lifted on Monday (April 22), a day after a series of bombings left at least 290 people dead and 500 others wounded in churches and luxury hotels in Colombo. Police officials said on Monday that they have arrested a total of 24 suspects at two locations in and around the Sri Lankan capital in connection with the bombings.

April 21: 7 suspects arrested on Sunday

Seven suspects in a series of bombings that killed more than 190 people in Sri Lanka have been arrested, the country’s defence minister said on Sunday.  Police said that suicide bombers were involved in at least two of the deadly blasts that hit churches and hotels in the capital of Colombo.

8th blast hits Sri Lanka

A new explosion was reported in a house in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo on Sunday afternoon, killing at least three people. Police said a suicide bomber detonated his explosives when police entered the residence to search it. The blast brought down the upper level of the house and killed three police officers.

4th hotel hit by explosion

Following a string of attacks on hotels and churches in Sri Lanka on Sunday, a seventh explosion hit a hotel in the Colombo suburb of Dehiwala. It is the fourth hotel to be hit by a blast in Sunday’s string of deadly explosions.

Police said blasts also hit the Grand Cinnamon Hotel, Shangri-La Hotel and Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo. A hotel official at Grand Cinnamon Hotel said that a suicide bomber blew himself up in the hotel restaurant.

The nature of the other blasts has not yet been confirmed.

The aftermath of an explosion in St. Anthony's Church, Colombo, Sri Lanka. AASHIK NAZARDEEN

Curfew imposed

The Sri Lankan government has announced a nationwide curfew, starting at 6pm, after the series of deadly attacks in churches and hotels.

Ministry of Defence vows justice

Officials at the Ministry of Defence held an emergency meeting, vowing to bring to justice the perpetrators of Sunday’s deadly attacks and to “stop them from operating in this country.”

 

Minister urges citizens to ‘stay strong’

In a twitter post, Kabir Hashim, Sri Lanka’s Minister of Highways, Road Development and Petroleum Resources Development, expressed his condolences over the “heinous attacks”.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to all the loved ones who have been lost on this Holy day. I absolutely condemn these heinous attacks of violence. Investigations have been launched to find the perpetrators immediately. I urge all citizens to stay strong in these difficult times,” Hashim said.

 

UAE denounces terrorist attacks

In a statement on Sunday, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) condemned the deadly attacks in Sri Lanka and said that the UAE affirmed its firm stance against all forms of violence, terrorism and extremism, targeting all without distinction between religion and race.

Multiple blasts rock Sri Lanka

Multiple explosions hit Sri Lanka on Sunday (April 21), leaving hundreds of people dead or wounded, police and health officials said.

The death toll on Sunday was 190 and is expected to climb further. Security officials said that blasts hit three churches celebrating Easter, and three luxury hotels in and around the capital of Colombo.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks – the worst act of violence in Sri Lanka since the end of the country’s bloody civil war a decade ago.

A security official told reporters that at least two of the blasts in churches were caused by suicide bombers. An investigation is underway.

Explosions hit St Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade, a church in Katuwapitiya, Katana and another church in the eastern town of Batticaloa.

Police said blasts also hit the Grand Cinnamon Hotel, Shangri-La Hotel and Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called for a national security council meeting at his home later on Sunday. “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,” he said in a Twitter message.

Muslim Council condemns attack

The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka issued a statement condemning the attacks, calling them a “deliberate attempt to create panic and disrupt civil life”. The group also called on the Sri Lankan president to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Indian mission issues helplines

The Indian High Commission in Colombo has issued an alert to Indian citizens in Sri Lanka.

“Explosions have been reported in Colombo and Batticaloa today. We are closely monitoring the situation. Indian citizens in need of assistance or help and for seeking clarification may call the following numbers: +94777903082 +94112422788 +94112422789,” the Indian High Commission in Colombo said in a tweet.

“In addition to the numbers given, Indian citizens in need of assistance or help and for seeking clarification may also call the following numbers +94777902082 +94772234176,” the mission added.

US Embassy issues alert

The US Embassy in Colombo issued an alert to citizens in need of assistance in bomb-hit Sri Lanka, urging them to contact the hotline +94 11 249 8639.


GAD/Expat Media

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