Sri Lanka bombings death toll passes 200, seven arrested

KATUWAPITIYA, SRI LANKA (APRIL 21 2019) (DERANA TV) – Easter Sunday (April 21) bomb blasts at three churches and four hotels in Sri Lanka killed more than 200 people and wounded at least 450, police officials said, the first major attack on the Indian Ocean island since the end of a civil war 10 years ago.

Seven people were arrested and three police officers were killed during a security forces raid on a house in the Sri Lankan capital several hours after the attacks, some of which officials said were suicide bombs.

The government declared a curfew in Colombo and blocked access to social media and messaging sites, including Facebook and WhatsApp. It was unclear when the curfew would be lifted.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attacks.

Pope Francis, addressing tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square to hear his Easter Sunday message: “I wish to express my affectionate closeness to the Christian community, hit while it was gathered in prayer, and to all the victims of such cruel violence.”

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