Security personnel standing guard outside a church in Sri Lanka after blasts (PTI Photo)
Six Indians have been killed in deadly Sri Lanka blasts that rocked three churches, three five-star hotels and a housing complex on Easter Sunday, officials said on Monday. As many as 290 people were killed and more than 500 others injured in a string of eight powerful blasts, including suicide attacks in Colombo.
The blasts targeted St Anthony’s Church in Colombo, St Sebastian’s Church in the western coastal town of Negombo and another church in the eastern town of Batticaloa around 8.45 a.m. (local time) when worshipers were attending Easter services, Sri Lankan police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said.
Three explosions were reported from the five-star hotels - the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury. Foreigners and locals who were injured in hotel blasts were admitted to the Colombo General Hospital.
The police said that at least six Indian nationals have been reported among the foreigners who died in the blasts. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday identified two more individuals killed in the blasts on Sunday.
On Sunday, Swaraj, in a series of tweets, identified the three Indians as Lakshmi, Narayan Chandrashekhar and Ramesh. "Indian High Commission in Colombo has conveyed that National Hospital has informed them about the death of three Indian nationals," she said in a tweet.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan identified a Keralite, PS Rasina (58), among those killed in the deadly bomb blasts. As many as 290 people were killed and more than 500 others injured in the blasts - one of the deadliest attacks in the Island nation's history. No group has claimed responsibility for Sunday's attacks.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan police has arrested 24 suspects in connection with bomb blasts on churches and hotels. Authorities have not made public the details on those held after Sunday's attacks but according to sources, most of them are from a same radical group.
(With inputs from agencies)