AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe

At least 207 people were killed in Sri Lanka

At least 207 people were killed and 450 others injured in a series of blasts that rocked churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.

Among the victims are at least 35 foreigners, including two Chinese nationals.

The Chinese embassy in Sri Lanka had previously said that four injured Chinese nationals were in stable condition and receiving treatment at hospital. It was not clear whether any of the wounded had succumbed to their injuries, resulting in the two updated deaths.

Three blasts targeted churches in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa during Easter services, and three others rocked luxury hotels – Shangri-La Colombo, Kingsbury Hotel and Cinnamon Grand Colombo – in the capital city of Colombo.

The seventh explosion was reported in Dehiwela near Colombo, killing two people at a small hotel, AFP reported citing police spokesperson Ruwan Gunasekera.

The eighth blast hit the suburb of Orugodawatta, north of Colombo. It was a suicide bomb in a residential area which killed three people.

Police in Sri Lanka have arrested seven people in connection to the explosions.

Authorities have called for calm as the government introduced a number of measures to ensure the safety of civilians.

“We must all act together as Sri Lanka citizens. My condolences to all families who lost loved ones,” the country’s Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution Harsha de Silva said on Twitter.

The country’s defense ministry ordered a nationwide curfew starting from 6:00 p.m. local time (1230GMT) to 6:00 a.m. local time (0030GMT). Major social media and messaging services including Facebook and WhatsApp have been blocked in the country to prevent misinfomation. “This is only a temporary measure,” Udaya R. Seneviratne, secretary to the president, said in a statement. 

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks.

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