Latest reports show that 207 people have been killed in several blasts in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.
Six blasts hit three churches and three grand hotels in Colombo. The churches are Zion Church in Batticaloa, St Anthony's Church in Kochchikade and St Sebastian in Negombo. Card Malcom Ranjith calls for blood donations and doctors to return to work in hospitals. The first blast hit St. Anthony’s Catholic Shrine in Kochchikade, a district north of the capital Colombo.
UPDATE: Pope Francis during his Easter message said; “I wish to express my heartfelt closeness to the Christian community [of Sri Lanka], wounded as it was gathered in prayer, and to all the victims of such cruel violence.” Pope Francis said the attacks “have wrought grief and sorrow”. “I entrust to the Lord all those who have tragically perished,” he said, “and I pray for the injured and all those who suffer as a result of this tragic event.”
Over 500 people were wounded as a result of six explosions this morning, Easter Sunday, in a number of churches and hotels in Sri Lanka. The churches affected in Kochchikade, Negombo and Batticaloa, where the faithful were gathered to celebrate the resurrection of Christ.
Upon hearing of the news, Card Malcolm Ranjith, archbishop of Colombo, expressed his "condolences for the victims" and urged people to pray for the country.
Sri Lankan President Mathripala Sirisena condemned the attacks, urging his fellow citizens to help the police in its investigation.
According to provisional reports, so far 27 were killed at the Zion Church of Batticaloa, 160 were wounded at St Anthony's Church in Kochchikade and another 50 died at the St Sebastian Church in Negombo.
In the capital, major hotels were hit, namely the Kingsbury, the Shangri-La and the Cinnamon, all crowded with tourists.
A minister who went to St Anthony's Church describes "horrible scenes" with "pieces of bodies scattered everywhere".
Edited from Asia NewsIT and BBC