- On Easter Sunday, eight bombs went off across Sri Lanka, killing at least 207 people and injuring more.
- 27 foreigners were killed in the attacks on churches and hotels, according to Sri Lankan Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene.
- So far, two people with US citizenship have been identified as fatalities in the bombings.
On Easter Sunday, eight bomb attacks occurred across Sri Lanka, and churches and luxury hotels were targets. The attacks killed 207 people and 27 of them were reported to be foreigners, according to Sri Lankan Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene. 450 people were reported injured.
The bombings appeared to target churches where people were worshipping for the Christian holiday, including St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo. People staying at three luxury hotels in Sri Lanka’s capital – The Shangri La, Cinnamon Grand, and Kingsbury – were also victims of the attacks.
Foreigners staying at these hotels were among the fatalities, according to a media release from Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. One from India, one from Portugal, two from Turkey, three from the UK, and two with dual US and UK citizenship were reported dead in the bombings.
A famous Sri Lankan chef was also among the victims of the attack. Britain-based Shantha Mayadunne, a TV chef in Sri Lanka who has published multiple cookbooks, was killed alongside her daughter, Nisanga, a family friend told Gulf News. Their family was having an Easter breakfast at the Shangri-La Hotel the bombings occurred.
Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that there are 25 unidentified bodies at the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer’s mortuary and they believe them to belong to foreigners.
“The Foreign Ministry is in close contact with the relevant hospital authorities on the identification of the remaining victims. The Ministry will continue to monitor the welfare of the foreign nationals receiving treatment,” the release read.
In response, the US Department of State confirmed that several of the bombing victims were American citizens and said the US Embassy is “working tirelessly to provide all possible assistance to the American citizens affected by the attacks and their families.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the attacks “vile” and a “stark reminder of why the United States remains resolved in our fight to defeat terrorism.”
He said that targeting “innocent people gathering in a place of worship or enjoying a holiday meal are affronts to the universal values and freedoms that we hold dear.”
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- Harrowing photos show devastating aftermath of Sri Lanka Easter bombing attacks that claimed hundreds of lives
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