Six Explosions Target Churches and Hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday

Paula Bronstein

An official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, says they suspect the blasts at two churches were carried out by suicide bombers.

Following a report Saturday night that two explosions had hit two churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, wounding at least 50 people according to witnesses, The Associated Press updated that six near simultaneous blasts have hit three churches and three hotels frequented by foreign tourists. 

The first blast ripped through St. Anthony's Shrine in Colombo.

Alex Agileson, who was in the vicinity, said buildings in the surrounding area shook with the blast. He said a number of injured were carried in ambulances.

A second explosion was reported at St. Sebastian's Church in Negombo, a Catholic majority town north of Colombo. The church has appealed for help on its Facebook page.

Police immediately rushed to both areas and sealed off the churches. An official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, says they suspect the blasts at two churches were carried out by suicide bombers. The explosions have caused multiple fatalities among worshipers and hotel guests.

Local media reported some 50 people with different injuries had so far been admitted in Colombo's main hospital. The Associated Press later reported at least 30 deaths and 283 injured civilians. 

Apr. 20, 10:20 p.m.: Updated to reflect the number of blasts and buildings targeted.
Apr. 20, 10:41 p.m.: Updated to reflect apparent death toll and casualties.