Mall of America

Published on Tuesday, April 23, 2019

British holidaymakers killed in Sri Lanka terror blasts

Eight British nationals are now confirmed dead in the Easter Sunday terror attacks in Sri Lanka, which targeted hotels and churches.

The number killed in the attacks has risen to 310 with more than 500 injured.

Citizens from India, Australia, the US, Japan and Denmark were also among the victims, their governments have confirmed.

Six near-simultaneous blasts were carried out at three churches and three hotels: the Shangri-La, Kingsbury Hotel and Cinnamon Grand, all in Colombo, on Sunday morning.

A short time later, a hotel near the Dehiwala Zoo was also bombed as well as a housing complex near Colombo.

More than 50 people died at St Sebastian's Church in Katuwapitiya, north of Colombo.

Explosions also hit St Anthony's Shrine in Colombo and another place of worship in the eastern town of Batticaloa.

Six of the attacks in Colombo were carried out by seven suicide bombers, officials told Associated Press.

There have been no claims of responsibility but the Sri Lankan Government is blaming the blasts on local Islamic group National Thowheed Jamath. Police have detained 40 suspects in connection with the attacks.

The Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the UK said on Monday morning that eight British nationals, including two dual citizens, have died.

These included a woman and her two children who were killed in the blast at the Shangri-La Hotel. Her husband survived. They had been visiting from their home in Singapore.

A former firefighter and his partner, from Manchester, were also killed.

The British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka has been visiting other Britons in hospital.

A UK Foreign Office spokesman said: "Our staff are supporting the relatives of the victims and are continuing to work with the relevant authorities to obtain further information."

The UK Foreign Office has advised travellers in the area: "Follow the instructions of local security officials and follow travel advice for updates."

A state of emergency came into effect at midnight (local time) on Monday. 

Britons in Sri Lanka in need of help should call the High Commission in Colombo on +94 11 5390636. People in the UK worried about family or friends should call the Foreign Office on 020 7008 1500.

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