Sri Lanka Blasts: 24 Under Arrest; Toll Rises To 290

A total of 24 people believed connected with the fatal bomb blasts on Sri Lanka’s churches and hotels Sunday have been arrested by local police, officials said Monday, while no further details on those held have been released at this stage.

 

In wake of Sunday’s deadly bomb attacks, a “homemade” pipe bomb was found close to capital Colombo’s main airport and was successfully defused by the Sri Lankan air force, police said.

 

The series of blast attacks, which occurred on Easter Sunday, has killed 290 and wounded about 500 others, said police.

 

The curfew declared after the blasts has been lifted on Monday. Nationwide public transportation in Sri Lanka has gradually gone back to normal.

 

 

Two Chinese citizens were killed in the serial bombings, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the Chinese Embassy in Colombo.

 

World leaders expressed shock and condemnation over the deadly explosions. The United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said he is “outraged by the terrorist attacks” in Sri Lanka and “wishes a speedy recovery to the injured.”

 

Most of the victims were Sri Lankan. No organization has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

 

Updated at 9:45 p.m. BJT, 2019-04-21

 

The death toll has risen to 215.

 

Nationals from China, the U.S., Denmark, Japan, Pakistan, Morocco, India, and Bangladesh are among the victims, local media reported on Sunday citing Sri Lanka’s national hospital spokesperson.

 

Updated at 8:45 p.m. BJT

 

Sri Lanka has temporarily suspended all domestic flights and security forces are now at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo.

 

No one has claimed responsibility for the blasts so far.

 

 

Updated at 8:04 p.m. BJT

 

Two Chinese nationals have been confirmed dead in blasts in Sri Lanka, according to the Chinese embassy.

 

The death toll has risen to 207 and over 450 people were injured in the blasts which hit different cities on Sunday, the police said.

 

Updated 7:30 p.m. BJT

 

Death toll rises to 192 as a series of blasts hit different cities in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday,35 foreigners are among the deaths and over 470 people are reported injured.

 

Seven individuals have been arrested in connection to the explosions across the country, according to the reports.

 

 

In addition, the United Nations (UN) in Sri Lanka said on Twitter that: “UN strongly condemns the horrific attacks carried out against civilians and worshipers.”

 

At the same time, world leaders have also condemned a series of blasts in Sri Lanka on Sunday.

 

Updated at 7:10 p.m. BJT

 

At least three people were killed in the eighth blast which hit a residential area in Colombo, the blast was a suicide bomb according to the reports.

 

Updated 5:30 p.m. BJT

 

A fresh blast hit the suburb of Orugodawatta, north of Colombo, the eighth such incident in a single day in Sri Lanka.

 

The target of the new blast remains unclear.

 

Sri Lanka’s defense ministry has ordered a nationwide curfew from 6:00 p.m. local time (1230GMT) to 6:00 a.m. local time (0030GMT).

 

Major social media and messaging services, including Facebook and WhatsApp, have been blocked in the country to prevent misinfomation.

 

“This is only a temporary measure,” Udaya R. Seneviratne, secretary to the president, said in a statement.

 

Updated 5:10 p.m. BJT

 

Two people were killed in the blast hitting Dehiwela, AFP reported citing police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera.

 

The blast was reported after six serial blasts hit churches and hotels in several Sri Lankan cities, killing at least 185 people and injuring hundreds more.

 

 

Updated 4:45 p.m. BJT

 

Another explosion was reported in Dehiwela near the capital city of Colombo, Reuters reported citing Sri Lankan police.

 

This is the seventh blast that happened in the country on Sunday.

 

Updated 4:00 p.m. BJT

 

At least 35 foreigners were among the 160 people killed in explosions in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, AFP reported citing police.

 

The blasts targeted three churches in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa during Easter services.

 

Three luxury hotels in the capital city – Shangri-La Colombo, Kingsbury Hotel and Cinnamon Grand Colombo – were also hit.

 

“I strongly condemn the cowardly attacks on our people today,” Ranil Wickremesinghe, prime minister of Sri Lanka, said on Twitter. The government is taking immediate steps to contain the situation, he said.

 

Updated 3:19 p.m. BJT

 

The death toll rises to 160 and more than 360 people have been injured after a series of bomb blasts rocked three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka on Sunday, local media reported.

 

“We must all act together as Sri Lanka citizens. My condolences to all families who lost loved ones”, Sri Lanka’s Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution said on his Twitter account.

 

 

Updated 3:06 p.m. BJT

 

138 people were reportedly killed and over 400 others were injured after a series of bomb blasts rocked three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka on Sunday, Reuters reported, citing hospital and police officials.

 

Four Chinese nationals were injured in the blasts and have been sent to the hospital for further treatment. All of them are in stable condition, according to China’s Embassy in Sri Lanka.

 

The explosions occurred as worshipers attended Easter services, said the police.

 

No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack.

 

A fresh blast hit the suburb of Orugodawatta, north of the Colombo, the eighth in a single day in the country, AFP reported. Sri Lanka’s defense ministry has ordered a nightly curfew nationwide starting from 6:00 p.m. local time (1230GMT) to 6:00 a.m. local time (0030GMT).

 

Source: CGTN