Wed, 24 Jul 2019

At least 100 people have been killed and more than 400 injured in Sri Lanka as multiple explosions were reported from several locations on April 21, including hotels and churches in the capital where worshippers were attending Easter services.

Three churches hit were in the north of the capital, the town of Negombo, just outside Colombo, and another in Batticaloa, 250 kilometers east of the capital.

St. Sebastian's church at Katuwapitiya in Negombo posted pictures of destruction inside the church on its Facebook page, showing blood on pews and the floor, and requested help from the public.

Three other explosions were reported in five-star hotels, according to police.

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said in a tweet that the attacks appeared to be a 'well-coordinated attempt to create murder, mayhem and anarchy' and had killed 'many innocent people.'

Government minister Harsh de Silva wrote on Twitter that he had seen horrible scenes after the explosions and that there were many casualties including foreigners.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility.

President Maithripala Sirisena has issued a statement calling for people to remain calm and support the authorities in their investigations.

Security in the capital and the airport has been stepped up following the incidents.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, dpa, AP, The Washington Post, and Sundaytimes.lk

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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