At least 138 people were killed and nearly 500 hospitalized from injuries in near simultaneous blasts that rocked three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, the state-run Daily News reports.
A security official tells the AP that two of the blasts are suspected to have been carried out by suicide bombers.
St. Anthony’s Shrine and the three hotels where the blasts took place are in Colombo, the country’s capital, and are frequented by foreign tourists. Local TV showed damage at the Cinnamon Grand, Shangri-La, and Kingsbury hotels. The Shangri-La’s second-floor restaurant was gutted in the blast, with the ceiling and windows blown out.
National Hospital spokesman Dr. Samindi Samarakoon tells the AP that more than 200 people are being treated in Colombo’s main hospital.
Alex Agieleson, who was near the shrine, says buildings shook with the blast.
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. The explosion ripped off the roof and knocked out doors and windows at St. Sebastian’s, where people carried the wounded away from blood-stained pews, TV footage showed.
Sri Lankan security officials say they are investigating. Police immediately sealed off the areas. No one has claimed responsibility for the blasts.