6 Coordinated Explosions Hit 3 Churches, 3 Hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday

April 21, 2019 Updated: April 21, 2019

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka—Six explosions hit three churches and three five-star hotels in Colombo on Easter Sunday, killing 99 and wounding at least 300 people, according to local media reports.

The blasts occured around 8:45 a.m. as Easter Sunday masses were underway in the churches. There were no immediate claims of responsibility in what appear to have been coordinated attacks.

Explosions ripped through St. Anthony’s Shrine, St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo—a Catholic majority town north of Colombo—and a third church in the eastern town of Batticaloa.

Alex Agileson, who was in the vicinity of St. Anthony’s Shrine, said buildings in the surrounding area shook with the blast. He said a number of injured were carried in ambulances.

The hotel explosions were reported from the Shangrila, the Cinnamon Grand, and the Kingsbury.

Sri Lankan security officials said they were checking for details. Police immediately rushed to the affected areas and sealed off the buildings.

A source in the police bomb squad said that one of the explosions was at St Anthony’s Church in Kochcikade, Colombo. “Our people are engaged in evacuating the casualties,” the source said.

Local media reported some 280 people with different injuries had so far been admitted in Colombo’s main hospital, Colombo National Hospital.

St. Sebastian’s church at Katuwapitiya in Negombo posted pictures of destruction inside the church on its Facebook page, showing blood on pews and the floor, and requested help from families of the victims.

With additional reporting by Reuters