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What we know about the attacks in Sri Lanka


At least 207 people were killed this Sunday, April 21 in eight explosions in Sri Lanka. The attacks have not yet been claimed, but here for the hour what we know.

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A body came out of a church in Negombo, north of the capital Colombo, hit by an explosion on April 21, 2019. REUTERS

At least 207 people were killed this Sunday, April 21 in eight explosions in Sri Lanka. The attacks have not yet been claimed, but here for now what we know.

Sri Lanka has not seen such violence since the end of the civil war ten years ago. The first explosions took place this Sunday morning around 8:30 to 9:00 local time (3h-3h30 UTC) in Colombo.

They touched three luxury hotels located on the waterfront: Shangri-La, Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand Hotel, separated from each other by only a few hundred meters. At the Cinnamon, witnesses told Agence France-Presse that a suicide bomber has set off his bomb in a line of customers who came to enjoy an Easter buffet at the hotel restaurant.

Other explosions struck at the same time three catholic churches where the faithful had gathered to celebrate the mass of Easter: the Saint-Antoine church of Colombo, San Sebastian in Negombo, a locality located at about thirty kilometers north of the capital, and another church in Battacaloa, in the east of the country.

Two new explosions occurred in the afternoon . One touched a hotel in Dehiwala, in the southern suburbs of Colombo. Another occurred in a house in Orugodawatta, in the north of the capital, when a suicide bomber blew himself up during a police operation.

At least 207 dead and 450 wounded

A last report reported by the police reports 207 dead and more than 450 wounded, but it could still worsen. Dozens of foreigners are among the victims, in this country much appreciated by tourists for its paradisiac beaches and its green nature. Three had British nationality and two others had dual British and American nationality. According to the available information, Danes, Turks, Indians, Chinese, Dutch and Portuguese have also lost their lives in these attacks.

The Sri Lankan government has put in place a curfew " until further notice " and requested the temporary blocking of social networks to prevent the spread of " false or incorrect " information. Facebook, in particular, has been used lately by fundamentalist Buddhist groups to organize riots against the Muslim minority. The army was deployed on the island and the authorities tightened security checks at Colombo airport. The carrier Sri Lankan Airlines advised its customers to arrive four hours before their flight.

The Sri Lankan Prime Minister said eight people were arrested in connection with the series of attacks. " So far the names we have are local " but the investigators are looking to find out if they have any " foreign links ," Ranil Wickremesinghe said in a televised speech, without giving further details. Sunday's attacks have still not been claimed .

A reread: Sri Lanka hit by a wave of attacks: return on a murderous day

Source: rfi

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