New Delhi: At least 160 people, including 35 foreigners, were killed and over 400 injured after simultaneous blasts rocked Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. At least eight explosions were reported including at least three in churches and three in hotels frequented by tourists, reported Bhaaratdaily.
Condemning the attack Pope Francis said, “I entrust to the Lord all those who were tragically killed and pray for the injured and all those who are suffering as a result of this dramatic event.”
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe held an emergency meeting and 200 troops have been deployed to carry out relief operations. The motive for the attacks remains unclear. However, as per AFP reports, Sri Lankan police chief had issued alerts of possible attacks in “prominent churches” 10 days ahead of the blasts. The first explosion was reported from St Anthony’s Church in Kochcikade in Colombo, the second from St Sebastian’s Church at Katuwapitiya in Negombo and third from a church in Batticaloa. Three five-star hotels from where the blasts were reported are the Shangrila, the Cinnamon Grand, and the Kingsbury. The blasts occurred at around 8.45 am (local time) when Easter Sunday masses were in progress. It is pertinent to mention here that out of Sri Lanka’s total population of about 22 million, around 7.6 per cent people are Christian.