The string of attacks in Sri Lanka continues after another blast was reported in Colombo. A nationwide curfew has been imposed in the island nation. This is the eight bomb blast after another took place in a hotel opposite Dehiwala zoological garden in which two people died.

So far, at least 160 people have died and 400 have been injured after seven blasts at churches and high-end hotels rocked Sri Lanka as worshippers gathered to attend Easter Sunday services. The nature of the explosions has not been ascertained.

The idea behind the attack was to inflict maximum casualty and target members of a particular faith to widen and exploit communal fault lines.

The blasts took place at 8.45 a.m.(local time) as people started gathering for Easter Sunday masses in churches.

As per the inputs from the local media, one of the explosions was reported from Saint Anthony’s Church in Colombo while the other blast took place in Katuwapitiya and Katana was also hit.

  • The places which have been hit are Kochchikade Church, Katuwapitiya Church, Shangrila hotel, Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Kingsbury Hotel, Church in Batticaloa.
  • 40 people have died in Colombo, 62 in Negombo and 27 in Batticaloa. 9 foreign nationals have also died in the serial blasts.
  • An emergency meeting has been called after serial bomb explosions were reported across the country: Minister Harsha De Silva
  • Congress chief Rahul Gandhi condemned the terror attacks in Sri Lanka. “I’m saddened & disturbed by reports of multiple bomb blasts in #Colombo in which over 100 people have died & more than 300 injured. I strongly condemn this diabolical act of terrorism. My condolences to the families of the victims. I pray the injured make a speedy recovery (sic),” the Congress president said in a tweet.
  • Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has made an appeal to the people to remain calm and not to be fooled by rumours. Terming the blasts as “heinous acts”, Sirisena said that an investigation has been launched to look into the matter.
  • This was a well-planned attack and the design behind it was to ensure multiple casualties. As per the initial reports, extremist Islamic organisations are behind the blast but no confirmation has been received so far.
  • The Sri Lankan government has blocked internet services in most zones of Colombo. A post shared by St Sebastian’s Church at Katuwapitiya in Negombo read: “Explosions at Anthonys Kochikade church and churches in Wattala, Batticaloa and Negombo also at Shangrila, Kingsbury and Cinnamon grand. Stay safe and look after each and everyone.”
  • Indian citizens in Sri Lanka who require assistance or any help can dial the helpline numbers: +94777903082, +94112422788 and +94112422789.
  • Social media users have shared multiple photos of the tragedy and in one of them, the roof of the church has come down while the floor is littered with wooden beams, tiles, and blood.
  • Several people have been covered in blood while bodies can be seen lying on the floor covered with blankets.
  • A senior official of from the Sri Lankan government has told Times Now that it could be the handiwork of Islamic terror outfit and more details are expected soon.
  • Reports are emerging that troops have been deployed in Sir Lanka after the serial blasts.
  • The island nation which witnessed a decade of relative peace after the elimination of LTTE during the Sri Lankan civil war has now faced one of the worst terror attacks.
  • Foreign policy observers are saying that the attack has been carried out to target Sri Lankan tourism as the country had launched the global tourism promotional campaign recently after a three-year delay. Tourism is the third largest foreign exchange for Sri Lanka.
  • All schools in the country will be closed tomorrow (22) and Tuesday (23): Ministry Of Education
  • As per the media reports, Sri Lanka’s national police chief was warned about the attack in advance by a foreign intelligence agency saying that a radical Islamist group was planning bomb attacks on prominent churches. The terror group in question is National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NJT).
  • The NTJ, a radical Islamist group based in Sri Lanka, gained notoriety last year after vandalizing Buddhist statues.
  • The government had reports about some radical groups trying to spark tension between majority Buddhists and minority Muslims. In January this year, Sri Lankan police had seized a haul of high explosives stashed near a wildlife sanctuary following the arrest of four men from a newly formed radical Muslim group.
  • India has released a statement condemning the attack. “India has always opposed and rejected terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and has urged concerted action by the international community against terrorism, including cross-border terrorism. There can be no justification whatsoever for any act of terror,” the statement read.
  • Another explosion has been reported from Colombo. This is the eighth attack in the day. The blast took place near Dematagoda area. The government has imposed an islandwide curfew.
  • The government has blocked WhatsApp, Viber and other social media platforms after a series of explosions took place in several parts of the country.