Colombo: Another blast, reportedly the eighth one, was reported in Sri Lanka’s Colombo. The explosion happened in Dematagoda area. Two persons reportedly died in the incident. Meanwhile, the death toll in Colombo blasts during Easter mass on Sunday rose to at least 207, while over 450 are believed to be injured.
Furthermore, seven suspects said to be involved in the blasts have been arrested. The first arrest was made from Dehiwala area.
The blasts targeted 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 around 8.45 a.M. (local time) as the Easter Sunday mass were in progress, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said.
Three explosions were reported from the five-star hotels – the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury in Colombo. Foreigners and locals who were injured in hotel blasts were admitted to the Colombo General Hospital.
Images circulated on social media and TV channels showed severely damaged St Sebastian’s church building, with a shattered ceiling and blood on the pews.
Heavy security has been deployed at the Bandaranaike International Airport after the multiple explosions in the country. The riot police and the Special Task Force, extra police security has been deployed around the airport, state-run Daily Times reported.
Leave of all police personnel has been cancelled in the wake of blasts.
Doctors, nurses and health officials who were on leave have been asked to report to work, Health Ministry sources said.
The government schools have been closed for Monday and Tuesday.
As per reports, intelligence sources hinted at ISI’s hand in the attack. The attack was targeted at Indians on the direction of ISI, reports said.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said, “I am in constant touch with Indian High Commissioner in Colombo. We are keeping a close watch on the situation.”
“A bomb attack to our church, please come and help,” read a Facebook post from St Sebastian’s Church at Katuwapitiutya, in the Western coastal town of Negombo.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted, “Saddened and shocked at the disturbing news coming in from Sri Lanka. All forms of violence are unacceptable. Easter is a Festival of Peace. My thoughts and prayers with the grieving families.”
Indian citizens in need of assistance or help and for seeking clarification may call on the following numbers: +94777903082 +94112422788 +94112422789