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At least 42 killed, nearly 300 injured as serial explosions hit Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan military officials stand guard in front of St Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade church after an explosion in Colombo. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team Colombo, Sri Lanka Apr 21, 2019, 10.42 AM (IST)

Sri Lanka was rocked by multiple explosions on Sunday, including three blasts on church services celebrating Easter.

Three of Colombo's high-end hotels were also targeted in quick succession, police and security services said. 

At least 42 people killed and 280 have been injured in the blasts as worshippers were attending Easter Sunday services, a hospital official said.

"More than hundred people have already been admitted, and more are still coming in," an official at the Colombo National Hospital said on condition of anonymity.

Police said the blasts hit churches in the north of the capital and in the town of Negombo, just outside Colombo.

The nature of the explosions was not immediately clear.

"A bomb attack to our church, please come and help if your family members are there," read a post in English on the Facebook page of the St Sebastian's Church at Katuwapitiya in Negombo.

Only around six per cent 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.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility.

(With inputs from AFP)

Story highlights

At least 280 people have been injured in the blasts as worshippers were attending Easter Sunday services, a hospital official said.