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Sri Lanka bombings: what we know so far

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the UK would offer support to Sri Lanka.

Relatives outside a police morgue in Colombo, Sri Lanka (Eranga Jayawardena/AP)
Relatives outside a police morgue in Colombo, Sri Lanka (Eranga Jayawardena/AP)

Nearly 300 people, including eight Britons, have died after a series of bombings in Sri Lanka.

Here is what we know so far:

– Six nearly simultaneous explosions at three churches and three hotels took place at Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa on Easter Sunday.

– In Colombo, St Anthony’s Shrine and the Cinnamon Grand, Shangri-La and Kingsbury hotels were targeted in the first wave of explosions.

– Other blasts were reported at St Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, a majority Catholic town north of Colombo, and at Zion Church in the eastern town of Batticaloa.

– Three police officers were killed when they went to question suspects following a tip.

– There were two further explosions later at a guesthouse in Dehiwala and near an overpass at Dematagoda on the outskirts of Colombo.

Soldiers outside St Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo, Sri Lanka (Eranga Jayawardena/AP)

– Sri Lankan officials have described it as a terrorist attack by religious extremists. Most of the eight blasts are suspected suicide attacks.

– Police will examine reports that the intelligence community failed to detect or warn of possible suicide attacks as part of their investigation.

– Eight Britons are among the 290 people dead.

– Among the Britons feared dead are Anita Nicholson, 42, and her 11-year-old son Alex.

– There are also US, Turkish, Indian, Portuguese, Dutch and Chinese victims among the 27 foreign nationals killed.

– More than 500 people have been injured.

– Thirteen suspects have been arrested, according to officials. No-one has taken responsibility for the massacre.

– Sri Lankan authorities blocked access to many social media services in the wake of the attack, with Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp all affected.



From Belfast Telegraph