Donald Trump and Other World Leaders Respond to Attacks in Sri Lanka

Lydia FlemingApr 22, 2019

Three police officers were killed while conducting a search at a suspected safe house in Dematagoda, on the outskirts of Colombo, when its occupants apparently detonated explosives to prevent arrest.

The attacks continued hours after the initial string of six explosions.

The nature of all the explosions was not immediately clear.

We are deeply saddened on this Easter Sunday by the bomb blasts in Sri Lanka.

PM Modi also called up his Sri Lankan counterpart and Sri Lankan President to convey his heartfelt condolences over the loss of over 200 lives in the cowardly attacks.

Nine foreigners were among the dead, the officials said. Buddhist nationalist leaders and false social media reports accuse Muslims of recruiting children, trying to grow their ranks by marrying Buddhist women and attacking Buddhist shrines.

The boy's father, Ben, survived the attack but the couple's youngest daughter has not been found, the paper said.

The attacks mark a return of violence to the country of 21 million people that's still in rehabilitation following a brutal 26-year civil war that ended in 2009 with at least 100,000 killed.

National Hospital spokesman Dr Samind Samarakoon said that more than 200 people were being treated in the capital Colombo's main hospital.

Additional explosions occurred on Sunday morning at high-end hotels in Colombo: the Cinnamon Grand, Shangri-La Hotel and The Kingsbury. It was unclear whether there were any casualties in the hotels.

High Commissioner Gunasekera, told CNN they had information that the attacks were suicide bombings. Later, on Sunday afternoon, two additional blasts went off in Dehiwala Zoo in Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia and at a private house in Mahawila Gardens.

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Pope Francis, addressing tens of thousands of people in St. Peter's Square to hear his Easter Sunday message: "I wish to express my affectionate closeness to the Christian community, hit while it was gathered in prayer, and to all the victims of such cruel violence".

An official at the Batticaloa hospital told AFP more than 300 people had been admitted with injuries following the blast there.

The church has appealed for help on its Facebook page. A Portuguese national, a Dutch national, two Turkish engineers, at least three British citizens and several Chinese citizens were reported among the dead.

No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack. However, the country's attorney general denied any such alerts had been shared with officials.

Sri Lankan Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said seven suspects have been arrested. I call upon all Sri Lankans during this tragic time to remain united and strong.

The government beefed up security and imposed an immediate and indefinite curfew across the country.

Deakin University Professor for Global Islamic Politics Greg Barton discusses "who and how" of Easter Sunday attacks.

Earlier on Sunday, a series of explosions targeted three churches and three hotels in the country.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said he feared the massacre could trigger instability in Sri Lanka, and he vowed to "vest all necessary powers with the defense forces" to take action against those responsible.

This is a developing story.

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