As it happenedended1555876827

Sri Lanka news: Five British citizens among more than 200 killed after eight explosions hit churches and hotels

Security officials arrest 13 suspects over Easter Sunday violence

Sri Lanka Easter Sunday explosions: What we know so far

More than 200 people have been killed and hundreds more injured after eight bombs were detonated at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.

Ruwan Wijewardena, the country’s defence minister, described the blasts as terrorist attacks by religious extremists, though no group has claimed responsibility for the violence.

Most of the explosions are believed to have been suicide bombings, which occurred at sites mainly in and around the capital of Colombo.

Officials said that 13 suspects had been arrested in connection to the attacks.

Three police officers were also killed while carrying out a security raid at a suspected safe house several hours after the blasts occurred.

The majority of the victims are Sri Lankan but several citizens of other countries were also killed.

At least five British citizens lost their lives in the attacks.

Citizens from the US, Turkey, Denmark, China and Portugal were also among the dead.

The Sri Lankan government has declared a dawn-to-dusk curfew in Colombo and blocked access to social media and messaging sites, including Facebook and WhatsApp.

It is unclear when the curfew will be lifted.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

Additional reporting by agencies

If you would like to read about the aftermath of the attacks please see what was our live coverage below:

1555830133

At least 100 people have been killed and nearly 300 wounded in near-simultaneous explosions that rocked churches and luxury hotels across Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.

Stick with our live coverage on this developing story.

Adam Hamdani21 April 2019 08:02
1555830674

An updated death toll from Sri Lanka. The state-run newspaper Daily News said 129 people have died, while more than 500 were injured, in the near-simultaneous blasts at three churches and three hotels across the country.

Two of the blasts were suspected to have been carried out by suicide bombers. St Anthony’s Shrine and the three hotels where the blasts took place are in Colombo, and are frequented by foreign tourists. Nine foreigners were among the dead, officials said.

Local TV showed damage at the Cinnamon Grand, Shangri-La and Kingsbury hotels. Other blasts were reported at St Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, a majority Catholic town north of Colombo, and at Zion Church in the eastern town of Batticaloa.

St Sebastian’s appealed for help on its Facebook page. The explosion ripped off the roof and knocked out doors and windows at St Sebastian’s, where people carried the wounded away, local TV footage showed.

Adam Forrest21 April 2019 08:11
1555830835

Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has said he was “deeply shocked and saddened” by the attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka. He also shared updated travel advice from the Foreign Office.

Adam Forrest21 April 2019 08:13
1555830921

Former president of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed said he was “horrified by the events in Sri Lanka this morning”.

He added: “My prayers go out to those who have been affected. Whichever sick group or ideology is behind this deserves everyone's rejection and condemnation.”

Adam Forrest21 April 2019 08:15
1555831801

At least 138 people have been killed after at least six explosions at churches and luxury hotels across Sri Lanka, Reuters is reporting.

You can read the details here:

Adam Forrest21 April 2019 08:30
1555832134

Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has called a national security council meeting at his home for later in the day.

“I strongly condemn the cowardly attacks on our people today. I call upon all Sri Lankans during this tragic time to remain united and strong,” he said in a tweet.

“Please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation. The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation.”

Adam Forrest21 April 2019 08:35
1555832499

AP footage shows the terrible damage at St Anthony’s Church in Kochcikade, Colombo following the blast on Easter Sunday.

Adam Forrest21 April 2019 08:41
1555832614

The US State Department has told American visitors to the island: “Media reports of security incidents at multiple hotels and churches in Sri Lanka. Monitor local media for updates. If near an affected area, update friends and family of your status.”

Adam Forrest21 April 2019 08:43
1555832759
Adam Forrest21 April 2019 08:45
1555833574

British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka James Dauris has revealed he was attending a church service with his family in Colombo when news came through about the attacks elsewhere.

Adam Forrest21 April 2019 08:59

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in