Pope Francis Sunday expressed his sadness at the deadly bomb attacks in Sri Lanka and said he stood with the victims of "such cruel violence."
"I learned with sadness the news of the attacks which today, Easter Sunday, brought mourning and pain," Francis said in his traditional Easter address at the Vatican.
"I want to express my affectionate closeness with the Christian community, attacked while it was at prayer, and to all the victims of such cruel violence."
A series of eight devastating bomb blasts ripped through high-end hotels and churches holding Easter services in Sri Lanka today, killing 207 people, including dozens of foreigners.
The powerful blasts - six in quick succession and then two more hours later - left hundreds injured and wrought devastation, including at the capital's well-known St Anthony's Shrine, a historic Catholic Church.
Seven people suspected of having links with the terror attacks have been arrested, Sri Lanka's Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said, adding "most the attacks were carried out by suicide bombers".