06:13 GMT +314 December 2019
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    Sri Lankan police officers clear the road as an ambulance drives through carrying injured of Church blasts in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, April 21, 2019. A Sri Lanka hospital spokesman says several blasts on Easter Sunday have killed dozens of people.

    LIVE UPDATES: Blasts at Sri Lanka Churches & Hotels Kill 290, Wound 500 (PHOTOS)

    © AP Photo / Eranga Jayawardena
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    Multiple Deadly Explosions Hit Sri Lanka on Catholic Easter (76)
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    Sri Lankan authorities have detained 24 people in connection with a series of deadly explosions that killed over 200 people earlier on 21 April, the News 1st broadcaster reported.

    St. Anthony's Shrine in the Kochchikade district of Colombo and St. Sebastian's Church in Negombo have been hit by the blasts, as well as Zion Church in the eastern city of Batticaloa. Channel News1 TV reported that the death toll has risen to at least 215, while 450 were injured, adding that Easter services in Colombo have been cancelled.

    "I have given instructions to take very stern action against the persons who are responsible for this conspiracy", President Maithripala Sirisena said, as quoted by the Sri Lankan Daily Mirror newspaper.

    The death toll later increased to 290 people, according to the police, while the number of injured spiked up to about 500.

    Police spokesperson Ruwan Gunasekera said that the injured were being evacuated while security forces have cordoned off the areas to conduct search operations.

    No organisation has claimed responsibility for the attack.

    READ MORE: Consequences of Deadly Blasts at Sri Lankan Catholic Churches (VIDEO)

    According to Al Jazeera, the explosions took place almost simultaneously, with the first one in Colombo, and two others occurring within half an hour.

    The source in the police told AP that authorities suspect at least two of the blasts were caused by suicide bombers.

    The tweet says it shows the results of the blast at St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade.

    "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", Sri Lankan Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution Harsha De Silva wrote on Twitter, noting that there are foreign citizens among those killed in the blasts. "Please stay calm and indoors", he added.

    WARNING: The following video is graphic and may offend sensibilities

    About 1.2 million or 6 percent of the Sri Lankan population belongs to the Catholic faith, while the country is mainly Buddhist. In 1995, at a ceremony in Colombo, Pope John Paul II beatified early missionary Father Joseph Vaz who is known as the Apostle of Ceylon.

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    • 16:38

      Blast Near Church in Colombo Carried Out by Bomb Squads - Reports

      According to the news portal Ada Derana, a police Special Task Force (STF) performed a controlled explosion to defuse an explosive device found in a van parked near the church.

      It was reportedly the data obtained from questioning the suspects, arrested in the wake of the Sunday explosions that helped find the suspected vehicle.

    • 13:38

      New Explosion Occurs near Church in Colombo as Police Squad Tries to Defuse Bomb - Reports

    • 13:42

      Shangri-La Hotel Suicide Bomber Identified - Police

      Police have told a local court that one of the perpetrators of the suicide bombing at the Shangri-La Hotel has been identified as Insan Seelavan, a factory owner. Nine of Seelavan's employees have been detained and are being held in custody until 6 May.

    • 13:26

      Sri Lanka Police Find 87 Bomb Detonators at Colombo's Main Bus Station

    • 13:28

      US Navy Halts Drills With Sri Lanka Amid Sunday’s Deadly Blasts - Reports

      THE USNS Millinocket conducts a training exercise alongside a littoral combat ship, an amphibious transport ship, and a mobile landing platform.

      US Navy Halts Drills With Sri Lanka Amid Sunday’s Deadly Blasts - Reports

      The death toll in Sri Lankan blasts that ripped through the nation on Sunday has risen to 290 people, including foreigners. Some 24 suspects have been detained by the police in relation to the attacks.
      Read more
    • 12:20

      Sri Lankan President to Declare Nationwide Emergency

    • 12:00

      Sri Lanka Blames Thowheed Jamath Militants for Sunday Attacks

      Sri Lankan firefighters stand in the area around St. Anthony's Shrine after a blast in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, April 21, 2019.

      Sri Lanka Accuses Thowheed Jamath Militant Group of Being Behind Deadly Blasts

      According to police, the bomb attacks that hit Sri Lanka on Sunday claimed the lives of 290 people, wounding almost 500 others. The explosions targeted churches, where people were gathering for Easter Mass and popular hotels in Colombo.
      Read more
    • 11:42

      Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo Closed Until Further Notice

    • 10:49

      Government Orders New Curfew in Colombo Soon After Lifting Previous One

    • 10:02

      President Sirisena Appoints Committee to Probe the Bombings

      Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has established a committee, appointing Supreme Court judge Vijith Malalgoda, Ex-Ministry of Justice Secretary Padmasiri Jayamanne, and former Inspector General of Police NK Ilangakoonto to conduct an investigation into the terrorist attacks.

      The committee is to submit a report in two weeks.

    • 09:04

      Sri Lanka Gov't Forensic Investigator Says 6 Attacks Committed by 7 Suicide Bombers - Reports

      Forensic crime investigator Ariyananda Welianga told AP that an analysis of the attackers' body parts shows they were suicide bombers. He noted that most of the attacks had been carried out by one bomber, while two terrorists had caused the explosion at Colombo's Shangri-La Hotel.

    • 09:00

      Sri Lankan Authorities Lift Nationwide Curfew

    • 07:30

      At Least 24 Suspects Arrested in Connection With Attacks - Police

    • 06:17

      Sri Lankan President Sirisena Calls Security Council Meeting to Review Security

    • 06:11

      Death Toll from Attacks in Sri Lanka Rises to 290, About 500 Wounded - Police Spokesman

    • 05:48

      Lebanon's Hezbollah Condemns Sri Lanka Bombings, Calls for Fight Against Terror

      Sri Lankan military officials stand guard in front of the St. Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade church after an explosion in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 21, 2019.

      Lebanon's Hezbollah Condemns Sri Lanka Bombings, Calls for Fight Against Terror

      BEIRUT (Sputnik) - Lebanon-based Shiite movement Hezbollah said on Monday that it strongly condemned Sunday's deadly bombings in Sri Lanka and called on people of all faiths to unite in order to counter the common threat.
      Read more
    • 03:55

      Death Toll From Bombings in Sri Lanka Exceeds 260 People - Reports

      Death toll after eight blasts in Sri Lanka has risen up to 262 people, and the number of injured people has exceeded 452 injured News 1st TV channel reported.

    • 22:03

      Israeli PM Offers His Condolences to Sri Lankan People Over Tragic Blasts

    • 21:27

      Improvised Explosive Device Neutralised by Sri Lankan Air Force - Reports

      Sri Lankan Crime Division police officers inspect the explosion site at a church in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka April 21, 2019.

      Improvised Explosive Device Neutralised by Sri Lankan Air Force - Reports

      According to a Sri Lankan Air Force spokesperson, the improvised explosive device was discovered after reports of a suspicious item on the road near Bandaranaike International Airport.
      Read more
    • 21:22

      Eiffel Tower to Turn off Lights in Memory of Victims of Terrorist Attacks in Sri Lanka

    • 20:27

      Hillary Clinton Calls for Unity After Easter Sunday Explosions in Sri Lanka

    • 20:19

      Danish Prime Minister Interrupts His Easter Holidays Due to Blasts in Sri Lanka - Reports

      Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen has interrupted his Easter holidays and returned to Denmark after it became known that there were Danes among those killed in Sri Lanka, national broadcaster DR Nyheder reported.

      The prime minister has expressed his condolences to the families and friends of the victims.

    • 18:48

      Eight People Arrested - Prime Minister

      A Sri Lankan Police officer inspects a blast spot at the Shangri-la hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, April 21, 2019.

      Investigators to Probe ‘Overseas Links’ as 8 Arrested Over Sri Lanka Blasts - PM

      Eight explosions took place in the island nation on Easter Day, hitting several churches with Catholic worshipers and hotels in the country's capital Colombo and other cities.
      Read more
    • 18:42

      Sri Lanka Police Seize Van Allegedly Used by Church Bombers - Reports

      Sri Lankan police have seized a van in the Wellawatte area on suspicion of having transported explosives to Colombo for the blasts that took place earlier in the day, the website Adaderana.lk reported.

      The driver of the van has also been detained, according to reports.

       

    • 17:39

      Citizens of at Least 8 Foreign Countries Died in Sri Lanka - Reports

      Citizens of at least eight countries were victims in a series of explosions that struck Sri Lanka earlier today, the Sri Lankan news portal Newsfirst reported, referring to a representative of the National Hospital in Colombo.

    • 17:12

      Former US President Barack Obama Condemns Attacks on Sri Lanka

    • 16:39

      Death Toll in Sri Lanka Explosions Rises to 215 - Reports

    • 16:25

      EU Parliament President Calls Sri Lanka Attacks Genocide Against Christians

    • 16:27

      Alleged Suicide Bomber Waited in Hotel Buffet Queue Before Detonating Explosives - Reports

      A manager of the restaurant at the Cinnamon Grand hotel told AFP that a man, who had registered the night before as Mohamed Azzam Mohamed activated explosives when the room was full of people.

      "It was 8:30 am and it was busy. It was families... He came up to the top of the queue and set off the blast", he explained. "One of our managers who was welcoming guests was among those killed instantly".

    • 16:07

      Canadian PM Trudeau Condemns Attacks on Sri Lanka

    • 15:45

      UN Mission Condemns Deadly Explosions in Sri Lanka

    • 15:32

      Indian Prime Minister Renews Offer of Help to Colombo

      "Prime Minister Narendra Modi had telephonic conversations with the President and Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and conveyed heartfelt condolences on his own behalf and on behalf of all Indians at the loss of ... innocent lives in today’s terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka ... Prime Minister renewed the offer of all possible help and assistance to Sri Lanka for ensuring its security against the challenges such as those posed by terrorism", the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said in a press statement.

    • 15:29

      Nationwide Curfew Prolonged Until Further Notice - Reports

    • 15:20

      All State Universities in Sri Lanka Closed, Train Services Suspended for Whole Night - Reports

    • 15:09

      Attackers Must Be Punished Mercilessly - Sri Lankan Cardinal

      "I would also like to ask the government to hold a very impartial strong inquiry and find out who is responsible behind this act and also to punish them mercilessly because only animals can behave like that", Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the archbishop of Colombo, told reporters.

    • 15:03

      Death Toll Rises to 207, While 450 Injured by Explosions - Police Spokesman

    • 15:01

      Junior Defence Minister Confirms Three Officers Killed During Police Raid on Housing Complex

    • 14:48

      Trump Ignites Twitter With Typo About '138 Mln' Killed in Sri Lanka Blasts

      US President Donald Trump takes the cap off a pen to sign an executive order to start the Mexico border wall project at the Department of Homeland Security facility in Washington, DC, on January 25, 2017.

      Trump Ignites Twitter With Typo About '138 Million' Killed in Sri Lanka Blasts

      The South Asian island nation was rocked by a series of deadly bombing attacks on Catholic churches and hotels on Sunday, with at least 190 people killed and nearly 500 suffering injuries.
      Read more
    • 14:36

      At Least Seven Suspects Detained by Sri Lanka Police - Minister

    • 14:33

      Death Toll Rises to 190 - Deputy Transport Minister

    • 14:26

      Police Confirm One of the Blasts Was Caused by Suicide Bomber - Reports

      A Sri Lankan police representative told AFP that the eighth explosion in Colombo that killed three officers, had been carried out by a suicide bomber.

    • 14:13

      WATCH Images of BLAST-RAVAGED Church's Interior in Sri Lanka

      Sri Lankan firefighters stand in the area around St. Anthony's Shrine after a blast in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, April 21, 2019.

      WATCH Images of BLAST-RAVAGED Church's Interior in Sri Lanka

      Eight explosions ripped through four Sri Lankan cities on Easter, killing at least 185 people and injuring another 500. The government has imposed a nationwide curfew and temporarily banned social media platforms, including Facebook, Whatsapp, and Viber. No group has claimed responsibility for the blasts.
      Read more
    • 13:28

      State Minister for Defence Calls the Series of Explosions Terrorist Attack

      "The perpetrators have been identified”, Junior Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said. “At the moment, police officers and military personnel are involved in the investigation. We expect that all those who are behind the terrorist attacks will be brought to justice as soon as possible".

      He added that the government "will take all the necessary steps for this".

      "We will persecute them regardless of their religious beliefs”.

    • 14:04

      Interpol Says Ready to Assist Sri Lanka Government in Investigation Into Attacks

      "INTERPOL strongly condemns the horrific attacks in #SriLanka and has offered its full support to the investigation being carried out by national authorities. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims”, Jurgen Stock, the secretary-general of the organisation said in a statement published on Twitter.

      According to the statement, specialised teams can be sent to the country to assist national law enforcement in the probe.

       

    • 13:54

      US President Trump Expressed Condolences to Victims of Sri Lanka Attacks

    • 13:37

      German Chancellor Merkel and French President Macron Condemn Vicious Attacks

    • 13:31

      Moment Sri Lanka Church Exploded Captured on Camera (VIDEO)

      Moment Sri Lanka Church Exploded Captured on Camera (VIDEO)

      Moment Sri Lanka Church Exploded Captured on Camera (VIDEO)

      The police stated that three Catholic churches were hit by explosions in Sri Lanka on Sunday during Easter mass, as well as three large hotels - the Cinnamon Grand, Kingsbury, and Shangri-La. The government, led by the prime minister, has announced an emergency meeting to address the explosions.
      Read more
    • 13:25

      Pope Francis Condemns Attacks on Sri Lanka

      "I learned with sadness and pain of the news of the grave attacks, that precisely today, Easter, brought mourning and pain to churches and other places where people were gathered in Sri Lanka", he said during his speech in St. Peter's Square.

      "I wish to express my heartfelt closeness to the Christian community [of Sri Lanka], wounded as it was gathered in prayer, and to all the victims of such cruel violence ... I entrust to the Lord all those who have tragically perished and I pray for the injured and all those who suffer as a result of this tragic event", the supreme pontiff said in his Easter Urbi et Orbi address at St. Peter's Square in Vatican, as quoted by the Holy See's official media outlet, the Vatican News.

    • 13:18

      Blasts in Sri Lanka Could Have Been Carried Out by Suicide Bombers - Reports

      According to Sri Lankan news outlet Daily Mirror, preliminary results of the investigation showed that on Saturday, two people had checked into a room at the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo, where one of the explosions later occurred.

      Video surveillance footage showed that the suspects had detonated bombs in a cafe and a corridor of the hotel. Investigators believe that the C-4 explosive was used. The suspects’ nationality is still unknown and the investigation is underway.

    • 12:32

      President Sirisena Vows to Take 'Very Stern' Measures in Connection With Attacks

      Sri Lankan military officials stand guard in front of the St. Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade church after an explosion in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 21, 2019.
      © REUTERS / Dinuka Liyanawatte
    • 12:44

      European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker Expresses his Condolences to Victims of the Blasts

    • 12:22

      Gov't Says it Shutdown Access to Social Media and Messengers in Sri Lanka

      "The government has decided to block all social media platforms in order to prevent incorrect and wrong information being spread. This is only a temporary measure", Udaya R. Seneviratne, secretary to the president said in a statement.

      The outlet Ada Derana specified that WhatsApp, Facebook, and Viber are among the services temporarily blocked in the country.

    • 12:20

      Sri Lankan Authorities Announce Curfew Across the Country

      The curfew is to start at 6:00 PM local time (12:30 PM GMT).

    • 12:16

      Eighth Explosion Hits Colombo, Killing Three Police Officers

      According to police, a new blast has occurred in Colombo. The media outlet News 1st reported that it took place at a housing complex in Dematagoda, a suburb of the city.


    • 12:02

      UK, Dutch, Turkish, and US Nationals Among 35 Foreigners Killed in Attacks - Reports

      According to AFP, citing hospital sources, British, Dutch, Turkish, and American citizens were killed by the blasts, while Britons and Japanese are also among those wounded in the attacks. The total number of foreigners killed has reached at least 35, the agency reported.

    • 11:48

      Another Blast, the Seventh, Kills Two in City of Dehiwela Near Colombo - Police

      According to police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera, two people have died due to another explosion at a hotel in the suburbs of Colombo located near the city zoo.

    • 11:46

      British PM May Condemns Attacks on Sri Lanka, Calls Them 'Truly Appalling'

    • 11:24

      Russian President Putin Expresses Condolences to People of Sri Lanka

      President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences, adding that the terrorists who plotted and perpetrated the atrocious attacks should be severely punished.

    • 11:18

      At Least 185 Dead, 500 Wounded by Explosions at Sri Lanka Churches - Reports

    • 11:09

      Turkish Foreign Minister Compares Attack on Churches in Sri Lanka to New Zealand Mosque Shooting

    • 10:59

      At Least 156 Dead in Blasts, Including 35 Foreigners - Reports

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    LIVE UPDATES: Blasts at Sri Lanka Churches & Hotels Kill 290, Wound 500 (PHOTOS)
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    Multiple Deadly Explosions Hit Sri Lanka on Catholic Easter (76)

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