190 dead, hundreds injured as explosions rock churches, hotels in Sri Lanka
At least 190 people were killed and hundreds more injured as several churches and hotels were rocked by simultaneous explosions on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka.
Eight explosions took place, including in three Christian churches and three hotels, some commonly used by foreign visitors. In addition to those who were killed at least another 500 were wounded, according to officials with police, the Colombo Hospital and St. Sebastian Church.
There were at least nine foreigners among the dead in Colombo, according to the officials. Two dual citizens of the U.S. and U.K. were among the dead, as well as one Portuguese citizen and two U.K. citizens, according to the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. One American was also among the missing. All of the foreigners died in attacks on hotels.
One of the churches struck by the attack was St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, Sri Lanka, which is located about an hour north of the country’s capital of Colombo. The church posted photos of the attack on its Facebook page and pleaded for relatives to “come and help if your family members are there.”
St. Anthony’s Shrine, a Catholic church in Colombo, and Zion Church, in Batticaloa, were also attacked. Colombo, the country’s capital is located on the western side of the island nation, while Batticaloa is on the eastern shore.
Buddhism is the most common religion in Sri Lanka. National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri-Lanka documented the growing number of attacks on Christians in 2018, saying there were 67 from January to September.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks. But the Associated Press is reporting that seven suspects have been arrested.
Written by Abelina Tavera