At least 138 people were killed as well as hundreds more hospitalized coming from injuries in near simultaneous blasts of which rocked three churches as well as three luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, a security official told The Associated Press, from the biggest violence from the South Asian country since its civil war ended a decade ago.
Two of the blasts were suspected to have been carried out by suicide bombers, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak with reporters. Worshippers as well as hotel guests were among the dead, the official said.
The magnitude of the bloodshed recalled Sri Lanka’s decades-long civil war, when separatist Tamil Tigers as well as some other rebel groups targeted the Central Bank, a shopping mall, a Buddhist temple as well as hotels common with tourists.
No one has claimed responsibility for Sunday’s blasts.
St. Anthony’s Shrine as well as the three hotels where the blasts took place are in Colombo, as well as are frequented by foreign tourists. A National Hospital spokesman, Dr. Samindi Samarakoon, told AP they received 47 dead, including nine foreigners, as well as were treating more than 0 wounded.
Local TV showed damage at the Cinnamon Grand, Shangri-La as well as Kingsbury hotels.
The Shangri-La’s second-floor restaurant was gutted from the blast, with the ceiling as well as windows blown out. Loose wires hung as well as tables were overturned from the blackened space.
A police magistrate was at the hotel to inspect the bodies recovered coming from the restaurant. coming from outside the police cordon, three bodies could be seen covered in white sheets.
Alex Agieleson, who was near the shrine, said buildings shook with the blast, as well as of which numerous injured people were carried away in ambulances.
some other blasts were reported at St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, a majority Catholic town north of Colombo, as well as at Zion Church from the eastern town of Batticaloa. St. Sebastian’s appealed for help on its Facebook page.
The explosion ripped off the roof as well as knocked out doors as well as windows at St. Sebastian’s, where people carried the wounded away coming from blood-stained pews, TV footage showed.
Sri Lankan security officials said they were investigating. Police immediately sealed off the areas.
Sri Lankan security forces in 2009 defeated Tamil Tiger rebels who had fought to create an independent homeland for the country’s ethnic minority Tamils. The U.N. initially estimated the death toll coming from 26 years of fighting to be about 100,000 yet a U.N. experts’ panel later said some 45,000 ethnic Tamils may have been killed from the last months of the fighting alone.
Government troops as well as the Tamil Tigers were both accused of grave human rights violations, which prompted local as well as international calls for investigations.