Sri Lanka: 6 blasts hit 3 churches, 3 five-star hotels on Easter Sunday; 49 killed and over 300 injured

Colombo:At least 49 people were killed and more than 300 others injured after six near simultaneous blasts hit three churches and three hotels frequented by tourists in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. The blasts occurred at around 8.45 a.m. (local time as the Easter Sunday masses were in progress in churches, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said.

Three churches – St Anthony’s Church in Colombo, St Sebastian’s Church in the western coastal town of Negombo and another church in the eastern town of Batticaloa – were targeted, police said. Three explosions were reported from the five-star hotels, the Shangrila, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury.

Quoting sources, the Sunday Times reported that 24 people were killed in Colombo while 25 died in Batticaloa. The Colombo National Hospital spokesperson, Dr Samindi Samarakoon, said more than 300 people have been admitted with injuries.