Explosions rock 3 churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday

Explosions rock 3 churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday

Three almost simultaneous explosions hit three churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing some 130 people and wounding many.

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Three almost simultaneous explosions hit three churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing some 130 people and wounding many.

A Sri Lanka hospital spokesman says several blasts in three churches and three hotels have killed at least 30 people and wounded 283 others.

Sri Lanka’s state-run newspaper has reported that 129 people have died in a series of Easter Sunday blasts targeting three churches and three hotels.

Daily News says more than 500 others have been hospitalized with injuries caused by the blasts.

A senior official told The Associated Press that the death toll has reached 138 people.

The first blast ripped through St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo.

Alex Agileson, who was in the vicinity, said buildings in the surrounding area shook with the blast. He said a number of injured were carried in ambulances.

A second explosion was reported at St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, a Catholic majority town north of Colombo. The church has appealed for help on its Facebook page.

Sri Lankan security officials said they were checking for details. Police immediately rushed to the areas hit and sealed off the churches.

National Hospital spokesman Dr. Samindi Samarakoon says the nearly 300 wounded have been admitted to the capital Colombo’s main hospital.

A security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters says that six near simultaneous explosions hit three churches and three hotels frequented by foreign tourists.

The official suspects at least two of the blasts were caused by suicide bombers.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombai told Crux that the Church in India is “deeply saddened and pained” by the attacks.

“We offer our prayerful solidarity with the families of the victims and survivors of church bombings,” Gracias said.

“On this Great Feast of Hope of the Resurrection, our brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka are devastated by this senseless violence,” he added. “We pray to the Risen Jesus for Peace.”

Gracias, a member of the council of cardinals that advises the pope, called Sri Lanka’s Cardinal Ranjith Macolm and offered the prayerful solidarity of the Church in India.

Crux staff contributed to this report. 

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