Three Indians are among the 207 people killed in multiple explosions in Sri Lanka on Sunday, said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
“Indian High Commission in Colombo has conveyed that National Hospital has informed them about the death of three Indian nationals,” the minister tweeted. “Their names are Lokashini, Narayan Chandrashekhar and Ramesh. We are ascertaining further details.”
Swaraj said she had told Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana that India is ready to provide all humanitarian assistance. “In case required, we are ready to despatch our medical teams as well,” she added.
Meanwhile, the police in the island nation arrested seven people during a raid on a house in Colombo, The Guardian quoted Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene as saying. Most the attacks, in which hotels and churches were targeted, were carried out by suicide bombers, he added. Details of the raid are still awaited, Reuters reported.
At least 35 foreigners were among those killed in the eight blasts, six of which occurred in the morning as Easter masses were going on. More than 450 were injured, said police spokesperson Ruwan Gunasekera.
In the morning, one explosion took place at St Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade, Colombo, and another at St Sebastian’s Church in Katuwapitiya. Three hotels in Colombo – the Shangri La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury hotels – were also hit. At least 67 people were killed in the explosion at a church in Negombo – north of the capital – and 25 at a church in Batticaloa around 8.45 am as the Easter masses were in progress.
The seventh blast, which took place at a guest house in the suburb of Dehiwala, killed two people while the eighth explosion, carried out by suicide attackers, claimed the lives of three police officers. The officers were searching a housing colony in the suburb of Dematagoda while pursuing the suspected attackers.
The Sri Lankan government temporarily blocked social media websites and imposed a 12-hour curfew from 6 pm. Easter Masses scheduled for the evening across the country were cancelled.