Sri Lanka police warned of attacks before bombings

Explosions in Sri Lanka churches hotels Edited By Odishatv Bureau | By IANS On Apr 21 2019- 10:48:54 Pic Credit Latesly

At least 49 people were killed and almost 300 people have been injured in the blasts, officials told PTI. The blasts occurred at around 8:45 am (local time) when Easter masses were in progress.

Photographs of disorientated crowds have emerged from the explosions at in Kochchikade St Anthony's church in Colombo and the Zion Church in Batticaloa.

Simultaneous explosions hit churches and hotels on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka, with the numbers of the dead and injured varying.

National Hospital spokesman Dr Samind Samarakoon said that more than 200 people were being treated in the capital Colombo's main hospital.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attacks in a country which was at war for decades with Tamil separatists until 2009 during which bomb blasts in the capital were common. The church posted photos of the attack on its Facebook page and pleaded for relatives to "come and help if your family members are there".

A major deadly terror attack in Sri Lanka with five explosions are reported.

He said he had been to two of the attacked hotels and was at the scene at St Anthony's Shrine, where he described "horrible scenes".

"Our people are engaged in evacuating the casualties", the source said.

Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari condemned the attack in a tweet, saying that terrorism needs a strong united global approach to be effectively defeated worldwide.

Sri Lanka's police chief made a nationwide alert 10 days before Sunday's bomb attacks in the country that suicide bombers planned to hit "prominent churches", according to the warning seen by AFP news agency.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe branded the blasts as "cowardly" and said the government was working to "contain the situation".

Out of Sri Lanka's total population of around 22 million, 7.6 percent are Christian, according to the country's 2012 census.

An official speaking on condition of anonymity said that they suspect the blasts at two churches were carried out by suicide bombers. "I saw many body parts strewn all over". He further assured that rescue operations are underway and has advised people to stay calm and indoors.

Sri Lanka has been at times one of the most unsafe locations in the world for terrorist attacks.

Local media reported that church services on Easter Sunday would be cancelled for security reasons.



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