People gathered outside the Church of St. Anthony where the explosion occurred in Colombo, Sri Lanka, April 21, 2019. At least 50 people were killed and more than 100 others injured in multiple church and hotel blasts in Sri Lanka, police said on Sunday.
People gathered outside the Church of St. Anthony where the explosion occurred in Colombo, Sri Lanka, April 21, 2019. At least 50 people were killed and more than 100 others injured in multiple church and hotel blasts in Sri Lanka, police said on Sunday. (Xinhua/Tang Lu/IANS) IANS

Over 160 people were killed and 400 were injured in multiple explosions as Christians celebrated Easter in Sri Lanka on Sunday. The police confirmed that terrorists targeted at least three churches and two hotels, including Shangri-la hotel, in Colombo. Several people are feared to be dead.

Sri Lankan police spokesperson Ruwan Gunasekera said that most of the injured were taken to Colombo National Hospital. The church attacks happened around 9 am when the people had gathered for the Easter mass.

There have been "many casualties including foreigners," tweeted Sri Lankan MP Harsha de Silva.

Three churches in Kochchikade, Negombo and Batticaloa were targeted during Easter services. The Shangri-la, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury hotels in Colombo were also hit.

According to the reports, two of the six attacks were carried out by suicide bombers. The bomb attack at Shangri La was carried out by a suicide bomber identified as Zahran Hashim and the Batticaloa church explosion was carried out by Abu Mohammad.

Sri Lankan police spokesperson Ruwan Gunasekera has also asked the public not to gather near the blast sites. The government has also ordered the schools to remain shut tomorrow.

India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has reacted to the attacks in Sri Lanka. The minister said that she is in constant touch with Indian High Commissioner in Colombo. "We are keeping a close watch on the situation," Swaraj tweeted.

Sri Lanka has been attacked during an auspicious day for the Christian community celebrating Easter. The country is also going to mark a decade of non-violence after it ended a civil war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), commonly known as Tamil Tigers, on May 18, 2009.