Sri Lanka Blasts: Eight suspects arrested, PM admits govt had prior information


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At least 190 people were killed and over 400 others injured as multiple blasts hit churches in Sri Lanka during Easter services on Sunday. 35 foreigners have also been reported dead in the attack. The first blast was reported from St Anthony’s Church in Kochcikade, Colombo, and the second from St. Sebastian’s Church at Katuwapitiya in Negombo. The blasts occurred at around 8.45 a.m. (local time) as the Easter Sunday masses were in progress in churches. Three explosions were reported from the five-star hotels, the Shangrila, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury. This is one of the deadliest terror attack in the history of Sri Lanka on minority catholic community.

Below are the highlights on Sri Lanka Blasts:

09:36 PM :

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe confirmed that the government had prior information about the attacks but, failed to take preventive steps.

09:35 PM :

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe confirms that eight suspects have been arrested in connection with the attacks.

08:49 PM :

According to Sri Lanka news network Navamani, police have apprehended the driver of the van believed to be used to transport the bombs used in today's attacks. 

08:09 PM :

Indian High Commission in Colombo has conveyed about the death of three Indian nationals. Their names are Lokashini, Narayan Chandrashekhar and Ramesh: Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External affairs

07:24 PM :

Kerala Chief Minister's office has confirmed that one Indian national was killed in the serial blasts. The victim, Raseena, is a resident of Kerala's Kasargode town and was in Sri Lanka with her husband. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has extended assistance to the victim's family. 

07:23 PM :

Death toll has mounted to 215, according to News 1st. The foreigners who died in the attacks are believed to be nationals of USA, Denmark, China, Japan, Pakistan, Morocco, India and Bangladesh.

05:48 PM :

As per Reuters, the death toll has mounted to 207 while over 450 have been injured. 

05:34 PM :

The Minister of Defense confirms that a majority of the eight explosions that took place across the island were suicide bombings. 

05:34 PM :

The death toll has mounted to 190, according to Sri Lanka Defence Minister. 

05:10 PM :

Goa government has beefed up security at the churches across the state following a string of blasts in Sri Lanka that killed over 160 people earlier in the day.

04:30 PM :

"Heartfelt condolences from the people of the United States to the people of Sri Lanka on the horrible terrorist attacks on churches and hotels that have killed at least 138 million people and badly injured 600 more. We stand ready to help!": Donald Trump

04:21 PM :

Germany's Merkel condemns 'religious hate and intolerance' after Sri Lanka attacks.

04:02 PM :

Police say eighth Sri Lanka blast was suicide bomb, killed three, reports AFP.

03:49 PM :

Sri Lanka curfew imposed immediately 'until further notice', AFP quoted police as saying. 

03:47 PM :

Terming them as cold-blooded and pre-planned barbaric acts, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pointed out that these attacks were another grim reminder of the most serious challenge posed to the entire humanity by terrorism in our region and the entire world.

03:47 PM :

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had telephone conversations with President and Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and conveyed heart-felt condolences on his own behalf and on behalf of all Indians at the loss of over one hundred and fifty innocent lives in today’s terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka.

03:28 PM :

Sri Lanka imposes 'temporary' social media ban after blasts.

02:56 PM :

A curfew will be imposed from 6 pm today (Apr 21) until 6 pm tomorrow: Sri Lanka Presidential Secretariat

02:55 PM :

BREAKING: Another blast, number eight, had hit the Sri Lankan capital, reports AFP news agency.

02:47 PM :

Five Pakistani women among the 165 dead in Sri Lanka serial blasts.

02:46 PM :

All domestic flights have been suspended for the time being the authorities have raised the level of threat to the highest to all airports in the country: Local Media reports

02:28 PM :

2 dead in fresh blast near Sri Lanka’s Dehiwela Zoo

02:08 PM :

Sri Lanka speaker Karu Jayasuriya has announced that Parliament would be convened on April 23 owing to today's tragedy in the country. The urgent announcement was made in the aftermath of six explosions which were reported in the country today (Apr 21).

01:58 PM :

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned bomb attacks in Sri Lanka. 

01:56 PM :

SriLankan Airlines has appealed to travellers flying out of Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport to arrive at least four hours ahead of their flight time. 

01:56 PM :

Security arrangements have been beefed up across airports in Sri Lanka.

01:52 PM :

Extremely sad news from Sri Lanka on Easter. Enemies of humanity cannot be allowed to succeed in any part of the world and acts of terror should be condemned in strongest terms, said Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a tweet.

01:47 PM :

"India condemns the terror attacks in Sri Lanka and offers its condolences to the people and government of the country. Such senseless violence, aimed at innocent people, has no place in civilised society. We stand in complete solidarity with Sri Lanka," President Ramnath Kovind said in a tweet. 

01:46 PM :

Saddened to hear about the terror attacks in various parts of Sri Lanka, says Sachin Tendulkar. 

01:36 PM :

Sri Lanka Blasts: 35 foreigniers killed so far, many injured.

01:32 PM :

Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) President Harith Perera said that this was the first time that hotels have been directly attacked that had not occurred even during the 30-year-old conflict.

01:31 PM :

Sri Lanka blast video by a local  journalist:  

01:25 PM :

Deeply saddened and shocked by the bombing in Sri Lanka, says cricketer Yuvraj Singh. 

01:23 PM :

Horrified by the events in Sri Lanka this morning. My prayers go out to those who have been affected. Whichever sick group or ideology is behind this deserves everyone’s rejection and condemnation, says Maldives President.

01:20 PM :

01:19 PM :

45 people were killed in Colombo, where three hotels and a church were hit; The blast killed at least 67 lives in the church in Negombo and 25 more in Batticaloa church, news agency AFP.

01:13 PM :

More casualities feared in blasts that ripped through three churches and three hotels this morning.: Media Reports

01:12 PM :

Sri Lanka blasts: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, "deeply saddened by the bomb blasts in Colombo, SriLanka and killing of innocent people there. Such ghastly acts of violence are highly condemnable. My thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families. Pray for speedy recovery of injured."

01:09 PM :

We are deeply saddened by the terrible attacks on several churches in Sri Lanka on the holy day of Easter. We stand with the people in their time of grief & pray for their recovery, tweets Indian National Congress.

01:04 PM :

Specialist doctors, nurses and Health Sector officials who were on leave today (Apr 21) have been instructed to report to work owing to the recent explosions in the country: Local Media

12:55 PM :

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor expresses condolences.

12:51 PM :

India stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka, says Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

12:49 PM :

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has condemned the terror attack.

12:46 PM :

Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena has called on the general public to remain calm and cooperate with the ongoing investigations following today's explosions in the country.

12:46 PM :

All schools will be closed tomorrow (Apr 22) and on Tuesday, Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said.

12:45 PM :

The blood bank has requested the Public for blood donations following explosions which occurred in the country. Accordingly, those willing to donate blood have been requested to do so by reporting to the Batticaloa hospital. This is due to a requirement of blood for the victims of today's attacks at the Zeon Church in Batticaloa.

12:44 PM :

Politicians across globe condemn attack.

12:42 PM :

12:41 PM :

I am shocked and deeply saddened to learn about the loss of innocent lives in multiple bombings on Easter Sunday in Colombo #SriLanka.  My heartfelt condolences to the members of bereaved families and I wish a speedy recovery to the injured. : Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.

12:39 PM :

In addition to the numbers given below, Indian citizens in need of assistance or help and for seeking clarification may also call the following numbers +94777902082 +94772234176, the High Commission of India in Sri Lanka tweets.

12:37 PM :

The Archbishop of Colombo Malcom Cardinal Ranjith has called on the general public to refrain from panicking. He also requested all doctors to report to work despite today being a holiday in order to "save atleast one life".

12:36 PM :

The government has ordered the schools to remain shut tomorrow and day after in view of the attacks. 

12:33 PM :

At least nine foreigners dead in the blasts: Media reports

12:31 PM :

In just one church, St. Sebastian's in Katuwapitiya Colombo, more than 50 people have been killed. 

12:30 PM :

Shocked to hear the news coming in from Sri Lanka. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this tragedy, says Virat Kohli.

12:20 PM :

The Sri Lanka government has called an emergency meeting, the Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution, Harsha de Silva, said in a tweet. "Emergency meeting called in a few minutes. Rescue operations underway."

12:15 PM :

12:06 PM :

Air Force, Police and security personnel at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) have been deployed to undertake security measures at the airport: BIA spokesman.

11:49 AM :

Teh death toll in six explosions at three churches and three hotels across the country has crossed 101, according to the Sunday Times Sri Lanka. OVer 450 people were injured.

11:33 AM :

Death toll in deadly Sri Lanka blasts rises to 52, reports AFP news agency.

11:27 AM :

The death toll has risen to 50 with as many as 500 people injured in one of the deadliest attack in Sri Lanka. The attacks occured at churches where worshipors had gathered for Easter services.

11:16 AM :

At least six explosions have been reported. Three churches in Kochchikade, Negombo and Batticaloa were targeted. The Shangri La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury hotels, all in Colombo, were also hit

11:19 AM :

EAM Sushma Swaraj on multiple blasts in Srilanka: I am in constant touch with Indian High Commissioner in Colombo. We are keeping a close watch on the situation.

11:16 AM :

Explosions have been reported in Colombo and Batticaloa today. We are closely monitoring the situation. Indian citizens in need of assistance or help and for seeking clarification may call the following numbers : +94777903082 +94112422788 +94112422789, tweeted High Commission of India in Srilanka.

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