Colombo (dpa) - More than 100 people have been killed and more than 250 others have been injured in alleged attacks on Catholic churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka, including foreigners. The police said on Sunday.
Within half an hour, Sunday morning (local time), explosions occurred in three churches in three different cities and in three luxury hotels in the capital, Colombo. Easter church services took place in the churches at that time.
President Maithripala Sirisena spoke of "attacks". The armed forces and the police would investigate the "conspiracy".
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces held an emergency meeting with several ministers, as Harsha de Silva, Minister of Economic Reform, wrote on Twitter. He experienced "terrible scenes" in a church in Colombo. This was littered with body parts. He called to keep calm and stay at home. Rescue operations were running.
The German Embassy in Colombo strongly advised to avoid public places in Sri Lanka. The federal government reacted deeply affected. Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert wrote on Twitter: "We mourn for her and pray for the wounded and the families. Terrorism, religious hatred and intolerance must not win. »
The South Asian island nation is a popular tourist destination, also for Europeans. Only about seven percent of the population are Christians. The majority are Buddhists.
Sri Lanka's civil war ended in 2009 after 26 years. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebel group fought for an independent Tamil state in the north of the country. The army cracked down on the insurgents and eventually defeated them. The UN accuses both sides of war crimes.
Tweet of the minister