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[Update, 8:51 EDT] As Christians in Sri Lanka gathered to celebrate Easter Sunday, eight explosions hit three churches, as well as four hotels and one house. A police spokesman has confirmed the total death toll has risen to 207 people with 450 people injured.
The attacks hit St. Anthony’s in Colombo, St. Sebastian’s in Negombo, north of the capital, and Zion Church in the town of Batticaloa—one of the largest churches in the town. The attacks happened during worship services. Three separate explosions were also reported at the Shangri La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury hotels in the center of Colombo, along with additional explosions at a hotel in front of a zoo in Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia.
Time - Christians - Country - Doors - Field
“This is a very heartbreaking time for Christians in this country,” says an Open Doors field worker from the region. “We don’t know who did it or why yet. Please pray.”
On its Facebook page, St Sebastian’s Church posted photos showing the destruction inside the church. A single post in English reads: “bomb attack to our church please come and help if your family members are there.” Photos circulating on social media show the roof of one church almost blown off in the blast.
Official - Batticaloa - Hospital - AFP - News
An official at the Batticaloa hospital reportedly told AFP news agency more than 300 people had been admitted with injuries.
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