Seven Suspects Arrested In Sri Lanka As Death Toll Rises To 190

police in sri lanka after explosionsPA

The death toll has risen to 190 after at least eight explosions were carried out across various locations in Sri Lanka this morning, April 21.

So far, eight bomb blasts have been recorded, mainly in and around the capital of Colombo, at churches and hotels as people celebrated Easter Sunday.

According to the country’s defence minister, seven suspects have now been arrested in connection with the explosions.

inside of chuch in sri lanka after explosions killed 137 peoplePA/Hiru TV

Three churches, three luxury hotels, and a guesthouse were among the targeted locations of the attacks, as AP News reports.

Three police officers are believed to be among the dead, reportedly killed in a ‘suicide blast’ at a house in Dematagoda as they pursued one of the suspects.

A number of foreign nationals are reported to have been caught up in the blasts.

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, said:

I strongly condemn the cowardly attacks on our people today. I call upon all Sri Lankans during this tragic time to remain united and strong. Please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation. The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation.

According to reports, three churches in Kochchikade, Negombo and Batticaloa were all targeted during Easter services, while the Shangri La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury hotels in Colombo were also hit.

It is feared the death toll will rise even higher, with hundreds more injured.

In the wake of the attacks, the government have imposed a curfew on all residents with immediate effect. They have also restricted access to social media and messaging services. The social media blackout is set to continue for as long as necessary while security forces continue their investigations.

The president’s office has said this is because of misinformation being spread.

The archbishop of Colombo has urged Sri Lankans in the city not to ‘take the law into their own hands’ in response to the attacks, The Guardian reports.

Our thoughts are with those affected at this difficult time.

For those in the UK worried about friends and relatives in Sri Lanka, a hotline has been set up by the high commission in London, which you can call on 07917382486.