Published on : Monday, April 22, 2019
A series of eight bomb destructive blasts in three churches and three luxury hotels left at least 290 dead and 500 injured in Sri Lanka. The U.K.’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issued a travel advice due to Sri Lanka bomb blast. Out of the 290 killed, there are at least 27 foreigners.
The co-ordinated attacks are the deadliest to hit Sri Lanka in the decade since the end of a bloody civil war that killed up to 100,000 people. The country’s Christian minority has been targeted in the past, but never at this magnitude.
The three churches targeted were historic St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo, the St. Sebastian’s church in the town of Negombo — north of the capital — and the Zion Church in the east coast town of Batticaloa.
The hotels that were hit by the Sri Lanka bomb blast wave were the Cinnamon Grand hotel, Shangri-La and the Kingsbury. The suicide bomber had waited patiently in a queue for the Easter Sunday breakfast buffet at Cinnamon Grand hotel and then set off the explosives strapped to his back.
Sri Lanka has imposed a nationwide curfew and curbed social media access to prevent ‘wrong information’ from spreading in the country of 21 million people. The six blasts went off in quick succession at around 8.45am local time and then two more hours later.
The Foreign Office has issued emergency phone numbers for the thousands of British tourists on the island, as well as families in the U.K. concerned about their welfare.
“If you are in Sri Lanka and have been directly affected by the attacks, please call the main number for the Embassy in Colombo: +94 11 5390639, follow the phone message, and select the emergency option from where you will be connected to one of our consular staff.”
“If you’re in the UK and worried about British friends or family in Sri Lanka caught up in the incidents, please call the FCO switchboard number: 020 7008 1500 and follow the same steps.”
Many U.K. citizens with Sri Lankan heritage are on the island for the Easter break.
Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced the Sri Lanka bomb blast as “cruel and
Queen Elizabeth has expressed her sadness over the Sri Lanka Easter Sunday attacks. The statement says: “Prince Philip and I were deeply saddened to learn of the attacks in Sri Lanka and send our condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives.
I pay tribute to the medical and emergency services who are providing support to those who have been injured. Our thoughts and prayers are with all Sri Lankans at this difficult time.
Sri Lankan authorities investigating the devastating blasts across the country on Easter Sunday have found 87 detonators in a private terminal of the Central Bus Stand in Colombo Monday.
Pope Francis said, “I pray for the many victims and injured and I ask everyone to not hesitate to offer all the necessary help in front of this dear nation”.
Sri Lanka has declared a state of emergency that will come into effect on Monday midnight until Tuesday.
About 2.5 million international travelers visit Sri Lanka, and this incident could be the spokes in the wheel of Sri Lanka tourism.
While Sri Lankan police was defusing bombs found in a suspicious van near St. Anthony’s church, there was an explosion, that sent pedestrians fleeing.