Sri Lanka: 138 killed, 400 injured in church and hotel bombings

21st Apr 2019
Sri Lanka: 138 killed, 400 injured in church and hotel bombings

The Muslim News & Agencies: 138 people were killed and more than 402 injured in multiple bomb attacks at three Sri Lankan churches and hotels in and around Colombo, on Easter Sunday, police said.

Two of the blasts were suspected to have been carried out by suicide bombers.

Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, has called security council meeting of the cabinet.

Six explosions were reported, with at St. Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade, Kotahena and St.Sebastian’s Church in Katuwapitiya, Katan, north of Colombo, attacked.

At least six blasts have been reported, with three churches in Kochchikade, Negombo and Batticaloa in Eastern Province targeted during Easter services.

 

Media reported 25 people were also killed in an attack on a church in Batticaloa in Eastern Province.

The three hotels hit were the Shangri-La Colombo [two explosions], Kingsbury Hotel and Cinnamon Grand Colombo.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attacks in a country which was at war for decades with Tamil separatists until 2009 during which bomb blasts in the capital were common.

Last year, there were 86 verified incidents of discrimination, threats and violence against Christians, according to the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL), which represents more than 200 churches and other Christian organisations.

This year, the NCEASL recorded 26 such incidents, including one in which Buddhist monks allegedly attempted to disrupt a Sunday worship service, with the last one reported on March 25.

Out of Sri Lanka’s total population of around 22 million, 70 percent are Buddhist, 12.6 percent Hindu, 9.7 percent Muslim, and 7.6 percent Christian, according to the country’s 2012 census.

[Photo: Security forces inspect the St. Anthony’s Shrine after an explosion hit St Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade in Colombo, Sri Lanka on April 21, 2019. Photographer: Chamila Karunarathne/AA]

 

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