BREAKING NEWS

More than 200 killed, several injured in 8 blasts that rocked Sri Lanka

Over 207 people were killed and hundreds more were wounded in a series of bomb blasts that ripped through hotels and churches across Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, leaving many in a state of agony.
 
On Sunday morning, the first wave of attacks struck at the heart of the country’s minority Christian community during Easter services in the cities of Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa. Blasts hit three high-end hotels, Shangri La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury, in the capital city, Colombo. 
 
It remains unclear as to who carried out the attacks but the violence ruptured a decade-old peace in the country following the end of its civil war in 2009, when attacks were common.
 
After the end of civil war in which Tamil Tigers were defeated, Sri Lanka turned itself into a popular tourist destination and Lonely Planet, a travel guide publisher, even bestowed a title that it is the best place in the world to visit in 2019.
 
A curfew has been put in place in Colombo and social media networks have been blocked temporarily. The prime minister confirmed that eight people have been arrested so far.
 
In a statement, the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo said that the hotel’s Table One Cafe was hit at 9 am local time. Many foreign tourists and country’s business community stay in the hotel. 
An official from the foreign ministry said that the dead included 27 foreign nationals. 
 
At 8:45 am, the reports of first attacks came in about six blasts on hotels and churches. Dozens of people were killed at St. Sebastian’s church in Negombo which was severely damaged in the explosion. The building’s ceiling was shattered.
 
Many casualties were reported from St Anthony’s, popular shrine in Kochchikade district in Colombo. Two more explosions were reported even when the police were trying to find those involved.
 
One blast hit at a hotel near the zoo in Dehiwala, southern Colombo and the eighth hit a private house in Mahawila Gardens, in Dematagoda. Security has been stepped up at the Bandaranaike’s International Airport. 
 
The blasts are suspected to be triggered by suicide bombers. The victims include five British nationals, Americans, three Danish citizens, two Turkish nationals, a Dutch national, three Indian nationals and one Portugese citizen. 

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