At least 207 people, including three Indians, were killed and over 450 injured in Sri Lanka on Sunday when a lot of people were celebrating Easter in churches. The Government described it a “terror attack”, which involved eight deadly blasts.
It was the island nation’s bloodiest day since the LTTE-led civil war ended a decade ago.
One of the dead Indian was identified as Raseena (58), wife of Abdul Khader Kukkady, a native of Mangalore who works as an executive in a Dubai firm, also got killed in the blasts.
The explosions were reported as hundreds of worshipers had congregated at the St. Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade, Kotahena, St. Sebastian’s Church in Katuwapitiya in Katana, and another church in Batticaloa to celebrate Easter Sunday.
Blasts were also reported at the Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury five-star hotels in Colombo.
The blasts hit churches in the north of the capital and in the town of Negombo, just outside Colombo, security officials said.
The explosions at three churches and three hotels collapsed ceilings, leaving worshippers and guests in a pool of blood.
Sri Lankan Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardena described the blasts as “terror attack” by religious extremists. However, there has been no immediate claim for responsibility for the attack by any group, a new agency reported.
The minister, however, said most of the blasts were believed to have been suicide attacks.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has been persistently advocating joint fight against terror and terror sponsors around the world, in a message said: “Strongly condemn the horrific blasts in Sri Lanka. There is no place for such barbarism in our region. India stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka. My thoughts are with the bereaved families and prayers with the injured.”
Meanwhile earlier in the day, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted, “I am constantly in touch with the high commissioner in Colombo and we are closely monitoring the situation in Sri Lanka.”