Sri Lanka: World Leaders React As Explosion Death Toll Rises To 207
Sri Lankan security personnel walk next to dead bodies on the floor amid blast debris at St. Anthony’s Shrine following an explosion in the church in Kochchikade in Colombo on April 21, 2019. ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP

Police in Sri Lanka have said the toll in a series of eight blasts in the country on Easter  Sunday has risen to no fewer than 207, with over 450 people wounded.

Concise News learned that police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera made this known even as world leaders have come together to condemn the attacks.

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The blasts, six in quick succession, left many dead and hundreds injured. St Anthony’s Shrine, a historic Catholic Church, was among the places attacked.

This news medium understands that at least two of the explosions were carried out by suicide bombers. This information was made known by police sources and a hotel official.

Gunasekera, speaking at a press conference, said three people had been arrested in connection with the attacks that mostly targeted high-end hotels in the capital and churches where worshippers were attending Easter services.

The police officer informed that the police were investigating whether suicide bombers were involved in all of the blasts.

It was also gathered that Ravinatha Aryasinha, secretary to the foreign ministry, told reporters there were 27 bodies of suspected foreign nationals in the Colombo National Hospital.

A police official said earlier that 35 foreigners were among the dead and hospital sources said British, Dutch and American citizens had been killed, with Britons and Japanese also injured. A Portuguese man and two Chinese citizens were among the dead, news agencies in their countries reported.

World Leaders React

Religious and world leaders have condemned the attacks in Sri Lanka that killed more than 200 people including dozens of foreigners — with British, Dutch and American citizens believed to be among them.

British Prime Minister Theresa May described the attacks as “truly appalling”.

“The acts of violence against churches and hotels in Sri Lanka are truly appalling, and my deepest sympathies go out to all of those affected at this tragic time,” she tweeted.

“We must stand together to make sure that no one should ever have to practise their faith in fear.”

And for the United States President, Donald Trump, he tweeted: “Heartfelt condolences from the people of the United States to the people of Sri Lanka on the horrible terrorist attacks on churches and hotels.

In a similar vein, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte tweeted after the initial news of the attacks.

“Terrible reports from Sri Lanka about bloody attacks on hotels and churches on this Easter Sunday,” he said.

“Thoughts are with the victims and their relatives.”

Pope Francis expressed his sadness over the attacks during his traditional Easter address at the Vatican.

“I want to express my affectionate closeness with the Christian community, attacked while it was at prayer, and to all the victims of such cruel violence,” he said.