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World


Sri Lanka serial blasts: Nearly 140 killed, 500 injured

Sri Lanka serial blasts: Nearly 140 killed, 500 injured

Colombo, Apr 21 (UNI) At least 140 people were killed and more than 500 hospitalised in multiple explosions that hit two Catholic churches here in the national capital on Sunday morning, as worshipers had gathered in large numbers to attend the Easter services.

A total of six blasts reportedly took place on Sunday in Sri Lanka, hitting three churches and three hotels in the country's capital of Colombo and other cities, local media reported.

The first blast occurred at 0845 hrs in St Anthony's Church in Kochchikade and the other at St Sebestian's Church in Katuwapitiya, Katana.

Shortly after those blasts were reported, police confirmed three hotels in the capital had also been hit, along with a church in the town of Batticalao, in the east of the country.

The police said explosions also occurred at Shangri-La Hotel and Kingsbury Hotel in the capital.

As per initial reports the injured have been shifted to nearby hospitals.

It is reported that 24 people were killed in Colombo while 27 people died following the blast at the Zion Church while the number of deaths from the explosions in Negombo stands at 62.

Of the victims, 13 foreigners have been admitted to the Colombo General Hospital while some are reported among the victims.

An emergency meeting headed by the country's Prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been called to assess the situation.

PM Wickremesinghe has also strongly condemned the 'cowardly' attack on the its people and has urged all Sri Lankans to remain united in this tragic time.

"Please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation. The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation." he said in a tweet.

UNI XC JAL SNU 1332

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