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Seven arrested in Sri Lanka Easter Sunday attacks
April 21, 2019 | 5:33 PM
by Times News Service
Photos from a church where a blast killed civilians in Sri Lanka.
 
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Colombo: Seven people have been arrested in connection with the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, authorities have confirmed.

The eight explosions killed at least 160 people, including nearly 30 foreign nationals. Several churches and hotels were targeted.

Sri Lankan authorities have imposed a 12 hour curfew and temporarily banned social media.

Schools on the island are closed until Wednesday.



Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremsinghe condemned the attacks, stating, "I strongly condemn the cowardly attacks on our people today. I call upon all Sri Lankans during this tragic time to remain united and strong. Please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation. The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation."

The country's Minister of Finance Mangala Samawareewa said in a statement, "Easter Sunday bomb blasts in churches and hotels, killing many innocent people seems to be a well coordinated attempt to create murder, mayhem and anarchy. All those who cherish democracy, freedom and economic prosperity must unite now with nerves of steel to defeat this heinous attempt."



Due to heightened security, Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport issued a call for passengers to arrive four hours before their flights. Schools on the island have also been shut till Wednesday according to the Ministry of Education.

The attacks have sparked global outcry, with world leaders expressing solidarity with Sri Lanka.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "There is no place for such barbarism in our region. India stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka. My thoughts are with the bereaved families and prayers with the injured."

The leader of the Maldives, Ibrahim Solih added, "Saddened by the horrific events in Sri Lanka this morning. My heartfelt sympathies to all affected by this cowardly act of terror. At this difficult time, I affirm our solidarity with the government and people of Sri Lanka and assure our support in the fight against terrorism."

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan said, "My profound condolences go to our Sri Lankan brethren. Pakistan stands in complete solidarity with Sri Lanka in their hour of grief."

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt also condemned the attacks, saying, "I'm deeply shocked and saddened by the horrifying attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka today. To target those gathered for worship on Easter Sunday is particularly wicked. My prayers are with the victims and their families, and with those assisting in the response."

The UK's High Commissioner in Sri Lanka James Dauris also said, "The Easter Day service my family and I were at in Colombo today was cut short following explosions in churches and hotels. Our prayers for the victims of these evil attacks, and for their families. Our thoughts are with the medical staff, police and all involved in the response."

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