A series of explosions rocked Sri Lanka on Sunday morning, killing at least 207 people according to a Sri Lankan police spokesperson. The bombings ripped across hotels and churches in the South Asian nation in cities including Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa. Several hundreds more are said to be injured.
Were any British nationals caught up in the bomb blasts?
Five British citizens were among thos killed in the coordinated bombings in Sri Lanka on Sunday, the country’s foreign ministry has confirmed.
The UK Foreign Office would not comment on the figures at this stage and the vast majority of the 207 killed and 450 injured are understood to be Sri Lankan.
The UK’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, James Dauris, said earlier today: “We understand that some British citizens were caught in the blasts but we are unable to say how many people are, or might have been, affected.”
Mr Dauris has also urged Britons to get in touch with members of their family to let them know they’re safe.
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Prime Minister Theresa May said the Easter Sunday massacre was “truly appalling” and “no one should ever have to practise their faith in fear”.
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.”
Mr Dauris was in Colombo with his family at a church service which was cut short by the attacks.
In a video message he said: “Earlier today a series of explosions took place in hotels and churches in Colombo, in Negombo and in Batticaloa on Sri Lanka’s east coast.
“The churches were busy with Easter Sunday worshippers, the hotels with local people and foreign visitors.
“Reports suggest that several dozen people have been killed and hundreds injured in these evil and senseless attacks.”
Mr Dauris and his consular team were visiting one of the main hospitals in Colombo where casualties had been taken.
He said: “If you are affected, or are concerned about someone who you think might be affected, please help us to help you.
“If you are in Sri Lanka please follow the instructions given to you by local authorities and hotel security staff.
“Please follow our travel advice and keep checking for updates.”
Latest Foreign Office travel advice
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has now updated their travel advice to the country.
About 8,000 British tourists are believed to be staying in the popular holiday destination while several thousand Britons are long-term expatriate residents.
The FCO said: “There have been a number of explosions in Sri Lanka, including Colombo, on Sunday 21 April,” the FCO wrote on their website.
“Please follow the instructions of local security officials and follow travel advice for updates.”
The FCO categorises terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka as “can’t be ruled out”.
They add: “Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.”
Those in Sri Lanka who need help are urged to call the High Commission in Colombo on +94 11 5390639 while people in the UK worried about friends or family should call the Foreign Office on 020 7008 1500.