COLOMBO: Around 158 people were reportedly killed and over 300 injured as simultaneous blasts hit three churches and three hotels frequented by tourists in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, officials and police said.
The blasts occurred took place around 8.45 a.m.(local time) as the Easter Sunday masses were in progress in churches, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said.
Three churches - St Anthony's Church in Colombo, St Sebastian's Church in the western coastal town of Negombo and another church in the eastern town of Batticaloa - were targeted, police said.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has called for an emergency cabinet meeting. The Sri Lankan Army has deployed 200 troops to advert further damages.
Three explosions were reported from the five-star hotels, the Shangrila, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury. Photos circulating on social media showed the roof of one church had been almost blown off in the blast.
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