- Five Indians have died in the serial blasts in Sri Lanka
- 290 people have died, around 500 people were injured
- Five-star hotels and churches were hit by the blasts
Five Indians have died in the serial blasts in Colombo that ripped through three churches during Easter services, four luxury hotels, where dozens of tourists were staying and a housing complex. 290 people died in the blasts and around 500 people were injured, foreign minister Sushma Swaraj said on Sunday after a conversation with her Lankan counterpart Tilak Marapana.
In a series of tweets, Ms Swaraj said, "Indian High Commission in Colombo has conveyed that National Hospital has informed them about the death of three Indian nationals. Their names are Lakshmi, Narayan Chandrashekhar and Ramesh. We are ascertaining further details."
This morning, the Indian High Commission in Colombo tweeted, "We sadly confirm the deaths of the following two individuals in the blasts yesterday: - K G Hanumantharayappa -M Rangappa."
Another woman from Kerala, PS Razeena, 58, who had settled in Dubai, also died in the blasts, reported news agency IANS.
Earlier on Sunday, PM Modi had tweeted:
Strongly condemn the horrific blasts in Sri Lanka. There is no place for such barbarism in our region. India stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka. My thoughts are with the bereaved families and prayers with the injured.- Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 21, 2019
"I conveyed to the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka that India is ready to provide all humanitarian assistance. In case required, we are ready to despatch our medical teams as well," read another tweet from Ms Swaraj.
Indians in distress may please contact Indian High Commission in Colombo. We will provide you all assistance. @IndiainSL Our helpline numbers are :- Chowkidar Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) April 21, 2019
The serial blasts, two of them conducted by suicide bombers, had started on Sunday morning. The churches targeted include St Anthony''s Church in Colombo, St Sebastian's Church in the western coastal town of Negombo and Zion Church in the eastern town of Batticaloa.
The three five-star hotels hit were the Shangri La and Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury. Dehiwala Mount Lavinia, another hotel in from the Dehiwala Zoo, was also attacked.
When a police team entered a house in the Colombo north suburb of Orugodawatta to conduct a search, a suicide bomber blew himself up. Three policemen died in the blast, which was the eighth.
The Lankan government announced a curfew yesterday and shut down social media. The curfew was lifted this morning at 6.
Though no group has accepted responsibility for the blasts, the police have arrested 24 people. In the past, most of the deadly attacks in island nation were carried out by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which ran a military campaign for a separate Tamil homeland in the northern and eastern provinces. The group was active for nearly three decades before its collapse in 2009, after the Lankan Army killed its supreme leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.
(With inputs from AFP and ANI)