185 dead, 500 injured as 8 serial blasts rock Colombo, curfew declared...Churches main target, ISI hand suspected

Colombo, April 21: Sri Lanka declared a nationwide curfew after a string of eight explosions, mostly in Colombo, left at least 185 people dead and over 500 injured on Easter Sunday, authorities said.  Sources have pointed ISI hand in the blasts that have also targetted churches

Xinhua news agency reported that the death toll in the multiple blasts had risen to 185 even as two fresh explosions occurred in two Colombo neighbourhoods in the afternoon.

 Hours after a series of simultaneous and coordinated explosions rocked Sri Lanka's capital city Colombo, another blast took place at a hotel opposite Dehiwala Zoo. At least two people have reportedly died in the latest blast at the hotel. The hotel is said to be in close proximity to the zoo.

The injured have been taken to Kalubowila Hospital.A police spokesperson on Sunday said that another explosion has taken place at a hotel. The death toll in the Sri Lanka serial blasts has reached 160.

Serial blasts rocked Sri Lanka early on Sunday morning. The explosions hit 5 churches and 3 hotel in Colombo. At least 500 people have been injured in the blasts early on Easter Sunday morning, reported the Colombo National Hospital.

At least 160 people have died so far while 500 others have been injured in the blasts early on Easter Sunday morning, Colombo National Hospital director said, reported Reuters. The blasts occurred at around 8.45 a.m. (local time) as the Easter Sunday masses were in progress, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said. According to reports, St. Anthony's Church in Kochchikade, Kotahena and St.Sebastian's Church in Katuwapitiya in Katana were targeted in the blasts.

At least one of the victims was killed in Colombo's Cinnamon Grand Hotel, near the prime minister's official residence, where the blast ripped through a restaurant, a hotel official told AFP. Reports suggest the Christian community in Sri Lanka has been targeted in particular on Easter. No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, responding to the explosions, said that she is in close touch with the Indian High Commissioner in Colombo and that the government was closely monitoring the situation in the neighboring country. For Indian citizens in Sri Lanka requiring any assistance, the Indian embassy in Sri Lanka has tweeted out helpline numbers.

The Indian High Commission has issued helpline numbers in a tweet. Indian citizens in need of assistance or help and for seeking clarification may call the following numbers : +94777903082 +94112422788 +94112422789.