Sri Lanka: Five Britons Among More Than 200 Killed In Easter Sunday Attacks
21 April 2019, 18:51 | Updated: 21 April 2019, 18:56
Five Britons, including two people with dual nationality, were among more than 200 killed in the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, the country's foreign ministry has said.
Police say more than 200 people have been killed in a series of eight explosions in Sri Lanka, six of which happened in the capital Colombo.
Three British citizens and two people holding joint British and US citizenship are among those killed, and at least 450 people have been wounded.
Danish, Turkish and Dutch citizens are also among 36 foreigners who are believed to have died.
Six nearly simultaneous explosions happened at churches and hotels in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa on Easter Sunday.
Hours later, there were two further blasts in Dehiwala and Dematagoda on the outskirts of Colombo.
A 12-hour curfew has been imposed, starting at 6pm local time, and access to social media sites has been restricted.
Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe condemned "the cowardly attacks on our people", and Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardane told a press conference that culprits behind the "terrorist incident" had been identified.
No-one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack and it is not clear what the motive was but 13 people have so far been arrested by police in connection with the attacks.
The UK Foreign Office confirmed that British nationals were among those killed, saying that staff are supporting the relatives of the victims and are "continuing to work with the relevant authorities to obtain further information".
"We extend our deepest condolences to those who have lost loved ones and all those affected by this senseless tragedy."
Prime Minister Theresa May said: "The acts of violence against churches and hotels in Sri Lanka are truly appalling, and my deepest sympathies go out to all of those affected at this tragic time."
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that he was "deeply shocked" by the attacks, adding that "to target those gathered for worship on Easter Sunday is particularly wicked".
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "I stand with the victims, their families, the people of Sri Lanka and Christians around the world. We must defeat this hatred with unity, love and respect."
Britons in Sri Lanka who need help are urged to call the High Commission in Colombo on +94 11 5390639, while people in the UK worried about friends or family are advised to call the Foreign Office on 020 7008 1500.