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Sunday 20 October 2019

Sri Lanka bombings: what we know so far

A Sri Lankan man walks across a deserted street during a curfew after the attacks (Eranga Jayawardena/AP)
A Sri Lankan man walks across a deserted street during a curfew after the attacks (Eranga Jayawardena/AP)
Sri Lankan army soldiers secure the area around St Sebastian’s Church (Chamila Karunarathne/AP)
Blood stains are seen on the wall and on a Jesus Christ statue at the St Sebastian’s Church (AP)

Jemma Crew and David Hughes

More than 200 people, including five Britons, have died after a series of bombings in Sri Lanka.

Here is what we know so far:

- Six nearly simultaneous explosions at three churches and three hotels took place at Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa on Easter Sunday.

- In Colombo, St Anthony's Shrine and the Cinnamon Grand, Shangri-La and Kingsbury hotels were targeted in the first wave of explosions.

- 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.

- There were two further explosions later at a guesthouse in Dehiwala and near an overpass at Dematagoda on the outskirts of Colombo.

- Sri Lankan officials have described it as a terrorist attack by religious extremists. Most of the eight blasts are suspected suicide attacks.

- Five Britons, including two people holding joint US and British nationalities, are among the 207 people dead. There are also US, Turkish, Indian, Portuguese, Dutch and Chinese victims.

- Three police officers were killed when they went to question suspects following a tip, according to a police spokeswoman.

- 450 people have been injured.

- Seven suspects have been arrested, according to officials. No-one has taken responsibility for the massacre.

- A nationwide curfew has been imposed from 6pm to 6am. Passengers booked on flights out of the country will be able to get to the airport provided they have "both passport and ticket valid for travel that day".

PA Media

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