At least 156 people including 35 foreigners have been killed in Sri Lanka when a string of blasts ripped through high-end hotels and Churches as worshippers attended Easter services.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said at least 45 people had been killed in Colombo, where three hotels and a church were hit.
Another 67 were killed in an attack on a Church in Negombo north of the capital, with another 25 dead at a Church in the town of Batticaloa, in the east of the country.
The nature of the blasts was not immediately clear and there were no immediate claims of responsibility.
The first explosions were reported at ST Anthony’s Shrine — a Church in Colombo — and ST Sebastian’s Church in the town of Negombo just outside the capital.
Shortly after those blasts were reported, police confirmed three hotels in the capital had also been hit, along with a Church in Batticaloa.
An official at the Batticaloa hospital told AFP more than 300 people had been admitted with injuries following the blast there.
Sri Lanka’s Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution, Harsha De Silva, said in a tweet that an emergency meeting has been called in a few minutes. While rescue operations was underway.
He said he had been to two of the attacked hotels and was at the scene at ST Anthony’s Shrine, and described “horrible scenes.”
Photos circulating on social media showed the roof of one Church had been almost blown off in the blast.
Pakistan has condemned the explosions and terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka at churches and hotels, that have led to numerous casualties and immense loss.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr. Mohammad Faisal in a tweet said people and government of Pakistan stand by their Sri Lankan counterparts at this moment of tragedy.
He further said we are watching the situation carefully.
Any Pakistani in Sri Lanka needing help or assistance may contact on the phone numbers: 011205568, 0112055682 and 0767773750
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has strongly condemned the blasts at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on the occasion of Easter.
In a statement, he expressed profound grief and sorrow over the loss of lives as a result of blasts.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the government and people of Pakistan stand by Sri Lanka in this hour of grief.
by Pak State Media