Society 11:24 22/04/2019 World

Sri Lanka attacks: Death toll soars to 290 after bombings hit churches and hotels

The death toll in Sri Lanka has soared to 290 after a wave of blasts hit churches and luxury hotels across the country on Sunday, BBC reports.

Police said 24 people had been arrested, but it is not yet known who carried out the attacks.

About 500 people are injured and at least 35 foreigners are among the dead.

The Easter Sunday bombings were the deadliest violence Sri Lanka has witnessed since the end of the country's civil war in 2009.

Late on Sunday, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said security services had been "aware of information" of possible attacks but that the information had not been acted upon.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday it is working to find out whether there are Armenian citizens or ethnic Armenians among the casualties of the attacks.

The first reports of explosions came at about 08:45 local time (03:15 GMT) with six blasts reported within a small space of time.

Three churches in Negombo, Batticaloa and Colombo's Kochchikade district were targeted during Easter services and blasts also rocked the Shangri-La, Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand hotels in the country's capital.

As police hunted those responsible, two further explosions were reported.

One blast hit near the zoo in Dehiwala, southern Colombo, and an eighth was reported near the Colombo district of Dematagoda during a police raid, killing three officers.

The air force said an improvised explosive device - a 6ft-long [1.8m] plastic pipe packed with explosives - had been found and disposed of near the country's main airport in the capital, Colombo.

Police have not provided a breakdown of how many were killed and wounded at each location, Reuters reports.



Source Panorama.am
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