Serial blasts in Sri Lanka:: At least 207 people were killed and more than 450 critically injured after eight explosions took place in Sri Lanka during Easter congregation on Sunday, April 21, 2019. Meanwhile, seven people have been arrested over the attack. While two explosions were reported in St. Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade and Negombo Katuwapitiya Church, another explosion took place in Kingsbury Hotel and 3rd floor Shangri-La hotel in Colombo. Reports said another explosion was reported in Zion Church in Batticaloa. The death toll is likely to go up since many people are critically injured. Another blast occurred near capital’s Zoo which claimed two more lives as the multiple blasts in Sri Lanka have claimed hundreds of lives so far.
No terrorist organisation has claimed responsibility for the blasts so far. The Sri Lankan Police and Army personnel have been deployed at the blast sites while experts from the forensic science team and bomb squad have reached the spot. A high alert has been sounded in many parts of the country.
As per reports, Abu Muhammad known as Abu Muhammad al-Adnani al-Shami, an official spokesperson and a senior leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has been named as the suicide bomber in multiple Sri Lankan blasts. He was the second most senior leader of the ISIS after Abū Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Reports confirmed that several tourists were also injured at explosions in Colombo’s Shangri La and Kingsbury hotel. After visiting the hotels, Sri Lanka’s Minister of Economic Reforms Harshe De Silva confirmed that ‘many foreigners’ were injured.
Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has called an emergency meeting to discuss the situation. Search and rescue operations are underway, The Tamil Guardian reported.
Here are the LIVE updates:
– A curfew has been imposed in Sri Lanka after several blasts rocked the country, killing at least 207 people.
– Another blast near Colombo zoo has killed 2 people. More details awaited.
– Sri Lanka’s president Maithripala Sirisena said that the security forces had been deployed at the three churches that had been struck by bomb blasts on Easter Sunday morning.
– Sri Lanka Red Cross said rumours circulating on social media that the Red Cross building was attacked is not true. It appealed people to refrain themselves from spreading unauthentic and false information on social media.
– Reports said Sri Lanka police chief was warned of possible suicide attacks before Sunday blasts.
– The Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka has issued helpline numbers: +94777903082 +94112422788 +94112422789
– Harshe De Silva said the heads of Army, Navy, Airforce and I-G along with Secretary of Defence and Foreign Affairs are holding a meeting with State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene in Colombo today. All necessary emergency steps have been taken by the government of Sri Lanka. An official statement is likely to be issued soon.
– Harshe De Silva clarified that no blast took place at the Town Hall in Colombo. He said the comments posted by several social media users, who are quoting Ada Deran (a news portal that started as a news bulletin on TV Derana) is not true. Silva requested people to be responsible while posting comments on social media.