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UPDATE: Death toll rises to 138 in Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday bombings

At least, 138 people have been killed and about 250 wounded in a series of bombings that hit luxury hotels and churches in Sri Lanka…

At least, 138 people have been killed and about 250 wounded in a series of bombings that hit luxury hotels and churches in Sri Lanka as worshippers were attending Easter Sunday services, according to Aljazeera.

Three of the explosions took place in Catholic churches while three other explosions were reported in luxury hotels – the Cinnamon Grand, Kingsbury and Shangri-La – located in the heart of Colombo.

The first explosion was reported in a church located in the capital. The other blasts followed within half an hour.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility.

One of the churches targetted was St Anthony’s in Colombo. The other two were St Sebastian’s in Negombo, about 30km from the capital and another in Batticaloa, 250km east of the capital.

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

Police spokesperson Ruwan Gunasekera said that the injured were being evacauted while security forces have cordoned off the areas and search operations were under way.

Photos circulating on social media showed the roof of one church had been blown almost entirely off in the blast.

The floor was littered with a mixture of roof tiles, splintered wood and blood.

Several people could be seen covered in blood, with some trying to help those with more serious injuries.

“Emergency meeting called in a few minutes. Rescue operations underway,” Sri Lanka’s Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution, Harsha de Silva, said in a tweet on his verified account.

He said he had been to two of the attacked hotels and was at the scene at St Anthony’s Shrine and described them as “horrible scenes”.

“I saw many body parts strewn all over,” he tweeted, adding that there were “many casualties including foreigners”.

“Please stay calm and indoors,” he added.

Only around six percent of mainly Buddhist Sri Lanka is Catholic, but the religion is seen as a unifying force because it includes people from both the Tamil and majority Sinhalese ethnic groups.

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