The horrific attack targeted three churches and three luxury hotels during the early hours of Easter Sunday. The three hotels hit were the Shangri-La Colombo, Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo and the Cinnamon Grand Colombo. Officials say at least 35 foreign nationals have been killed.
Sri Lankan police officials told Reuters in just one church, St. Sebastian’s in Katuwapitiya, north of Colombo, more than 50 people had been killed.
Local reports say 25 people were also killed at an evangelical church in Batticaloa in Eastern Province.
No group has immediately claimed responsibility.
The Foreign Office said it was “urgently seeking” information from authorities in Sri Lanka.
A spokeswoman said: “We are aware of reports of a number of explosions in Sri Lanka, including Colombo, and we are urgently seeking information from the local authorities.
“British nationals in Sri Lanka should follow the instructions of the local authorities and check FCO travel advice for updates.”
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called a national security council meeting at his home for later in the day.
Mr Wickremesinghe wrote on Twitter: “I strongly condemn the cowardly attacks on our people today. I call upon all Sri Lankans during this tragic time to remain united and strong.
“Please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation. The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation.”
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he was “deeply shocked” by the attack.
Mr Hunt wrote on Twitter: “I’m deeply shocked and saddened by the horrifying attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka today.
“To target those gathered for worship on Easter Sunday is particularly wicked. My prayers are with the victims and their families, and with those assisting in the response.”
Meanwhile Prime Minister Theresa May labelled the attack “truly appalling” and called for unity.
Mrs May said: “The acts of violence against churches and hotels in Sri Lanka are truly appalling, and my deepest sympathies go out to all of those affected at this tragic time.
“We must stand together to make sure that no one should ever have to practise their faith in fear.”
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