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Breaking News: Six Nearly Simultaneous Blasts Kill Nearly 200 on Easter Sunday Morning in Sri Lanka

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Three churches and three upscale hotels were targeted at 8:45 local time in Colombo, Sri Lanka this morning. The death toll currently stands at nearly 200 and many more are reported injured.

According to Reuters, no one has claimed responsibility yet for the attacks.

A police official said that “at least two of the church blasts were believed to have been a coordinated attack carried out by suicide bombers.”

Fox News reports that the explosions occurred nearly simultaneously. The targeted churches included: St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, a city about 20 miles north of Colombo, the capital, St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo and Zion Church in the eastern city of Batticaloa. The hotels included the Shangri La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury Hotel, all located in Colombo.

Photos on social media show the extent of the damage and the loss of life inflicted by the bombings.

The photos “showed blood and debris in the churches. The explosion ripped the roof off the building and knocked out doors and windows. Churches throughout the country have been placed on alert, with many canceling Easter services.”

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe held an emergency meeting with military leaders earlier. Afterward, he sent a tweet in which he strongly condemned the cowardly attacks and called on “all Sri Lankans during this tragic time to remain united and strong. Please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation. The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation.”

Rain Thilkaratne, who was worshipping at a nearby church at the time of the blasts, told a New York Times reporter, “Our phones were on silent, but one guy got a text about the bomb blast. Then he alerted the priest. We stopped the service and moved out.”

Another witness, Alex Agileson, told an Associated Press reporter that “the explosions shook other buildings in the surrounding area. He reported seeing numerous people carried to ambulances.”

Shopkeeper N. A. Sumanapala described the scene at St. Anthony’s: “It was a river of blood. The priest came out and he was covered in blood.” A Times reporter said that smoke was “billowing out from the front doors and witnesses said many people had died inside.”

Sri Lankan Member of Parliament Harsha de Silva tweeted:

Sec Defence and I am at Kochchikade church. Also was at ShangriLa n Kingsbury. PM is on his way from Bentota. Emergency meeting called in a few minutes. Rescue operations underway. Please stay calm and indoors. Many casualties including foreigners.

Horrible scenes. I saw many body parts strewn all over. Emergency crews are at all locations in full force. We, at 1990 also have close to 20 units at the various locations. We took multiple casualties to hospital. Hopefully saved many lives.

The National Blood Transfusion Service has put out an appeal to the public for donations.

The post Breaking News: Six Nearly Simultaneous Blasts Kill Nearly 200 on Easter Sunday Morning in Sri Lanka appeared first on RedState.

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