Terrorist attack kills hundreds in Sri Lanka
The death toll continues to rise after nine terrorist bombings took place across Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.
According to CNN, 290 have been killed and over 400 injured following the co-ordinated attacks, which targeted hotels and churches in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa. The first blast was reported around 9 a.m. local time and the country remains on lockdown.
Sri Lanka’s Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution, Harsha de Silva, said on Twitter that seven people have been arrested in relation to the attack. In another post, he called the scenes of the explosions “horrible” and said he saw body parts strewn all over.
@RWijewardene says 7 people under arrest for morning attacks that killed at least 160 people including perhaps close to 30 foreigners (Source: Sec/Foreign Affairs) at meeting now w heads of media. Asks for responsible reporting. pic.twitter.com/kKrwdr0uJt
— Harsha de Silva (@HarshadeSilvaMP) April 21, 2019
There have been no reports of any Canadian casualties however, the Government of Canada is recommending that any Canadians currently in Sri Lanka limit their movements and avoid affected areas.
According to CBC, Sri Lanka has temporarily blocked social media sites in order to curb the spread of misinformation and the government has declared a state of emergency. 32 foreigners were killed and 30 other were injured in the attacks.
Leaders from across the globe have expressed condolences and shock over the bombings including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who took to Twitter to condemn the acts of violence. Trudeau later released an official statement, saying he was shocked to hear about the attacks.
“Canada strongly condemns these heinous attacks on hotels and Christians at prayer in churches. Places of worship are sacred, where all should feel safe and secure. No one should be targeted because of their faith,” read the statement. “For millions of people around the world, Easter is a time to reflect on Jesus’ message of compassion and kindness—a time to come together with friends and family. We cannot let attacks like these weaken the hope we share.”
Trudeau added that Canada will work with Sri Lanka and other countries to combat terrorism and violent extremism.
Absolutely horrific news from Sri Lanka. Canada strongly condemns the heinous attacks on Christians at churches and hotels. Our hearts & thoughts are with the families & loved ones of those killed and all those injured.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) April 21, 2019
138 people have been killed in Sri Lanka, with more that 600 badly injured, in a terrorist attack on churches and hotels. The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka. We stand ready to help!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2019