Explosions leave massive casualties at Sri Lanka churches, hotels
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Explosions leave massive casualties at Sri Lanka churches, hotels

The explosions hit St. Anthony’s Church in Colombo and St. Sebastian’s Church in the nearby city of Negombo as well as Zion Church in the eastern city of Batticaloa on Sunday, as worshipers were attending Easter services. The Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand, and Kingsbury hotels, which are situated in Colombo, were also targeted. Cinnamon Grand is located near the Sri Lankan prime minister’s official residence. Police officials confirmed the casualty tolls to AFP, adding that 35 foreigners were also among the dead. The news agency also cited hospital sources as saying that American, British, and Dutch citizens were among the foreign nationals killed in the blasts. A post on the Facebook page of St. Sebastian’s Church said a “bomb attack” had targeted the premises. ‘Body parts strewn all over’ Sri Lankan MP Harsha de Silva tweeted that there had been “foreigners” among the casualties. He said he had been to one of the churches and one of the hotels and seen “horrible scenes,” adding, “I saw many body parts strewn all over. Emergency crews are at all locations in full force.” Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said he was shocked by the incidents and appealed for calm. Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera tweeted that the attacks appeared to be a “well-coordinated attempt to create murder, mayhem & anarchy.” Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe condemned the “cowardly attacks” and urged Sri Lankans to remain “united and strong.” Ranil also called for a national security council meeting at his residence later in the day. Seventh explosion reported hours later Several hours after the initial explosions, a seventh blast rocked Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, the largest suburb of Colombo, according to police. No details were immediately available about the latest blast.

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