Sri Lanka bombings: death toll rises to 290


The Sri Lankan government has declared a curfew and shut down access to social media and messaging services.


At least 290 people have been killed in a series of Easter Sunday explosions targeting churches and hotels in Sri Lanka. Three Britons and two people holding joint British and US citizenship were among those killed in the blasts, according to Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry.  Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said a total of 13 suspects had now been arrested. A police source told AFP the 13 men were detained at two locations in and around Colombo, and that the suspects were all from the same radical group. No group has yet claimed direct responsibility for the attacks. Previously, police said eight had been arrested.  290 people have been confirmed dead, according to police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera. 500 people are also wounded, according to the figures provided to both Reuters and AFR. On Sunday night, the death toll was at 207.

Three police officers died in the blast in Dematagoda after entering a house to question suspects following a tip-off. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has convened Sri Lanka’s top military officials at an emergency meeting of the National Security Council following the blasts.  British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned what she called the “truly appalling” attacks. Mrs May said on Twitter: “The acts of violence against churches and hotels in Sri Lanka are truly appalling, and my deepest sympathies go out to all of those affected at this tragic time.”She added: “We must stand together to make sure that no one should ever have to practise their faith in fear.”