Three Indians killed in bomb blasts in Sri Lanka: Sushma Swaraj

NEW DELHI: Three Indians were among over 200 people killed in multiple bomb blasts in Sri Lanka on Sunday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said, as India offered all possible assistance to the island nation to deal with the situation.

Swaraj, in a series of tweets, said the Indian High Commission in Colombo has conveyed that a hospital informed it about deaths of the three Indians in the blasts. “Indian High Commission in Colombo has conveyed that National Hospital has informed them about the death of three Indian nationals,” she said.

Their names are Lakshmi, Narayan Chandrashekhar and Ramesh, she said adding further details are being ascertained.

Over 200 people were killed and at least 450 injured in blasts which ripped through churches and luxury hotels, shattering a decade of peace in the island nation since the end of the civil war with the LTTE. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesingh and called the suicide bombings in the country “cold-blooded and pre-planned barbaric acts”. He also offered all possible help to the country.

Swaraj said she spoke to Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana who confirmed that 207 people were killed and more than 450 were injured in the blasts.

“I conveyed to the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka that India is ready to provide all humanitarian assistance. In case required, we are ready to despatch our medical teams as well,” she added.

Swaraj said, “In all eight bomb blasts have taken place – one more in a guest house in Dehiwela near Colombo and another in a housing colony in Dematagoda in Colombo.” In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs said there can be no justification for any act of terror and called for concerted global action to effectively deal with the menace, including cross-border terrorism.

The Indian High Commission in Colombo said that it was closely monitoring the situation in Sri Lanka. “In addition to the numbers given, Indian citizens in need of assistance or help and for seeking clarification may also call the following numbers +94777902082 +94772234176,” it said.