Over 200 people were killed and hundreds more wounded in eight separate bomb blasts centered around Colombo — the deadliest violence the South Asian island country has seen since a bloody civil war ended a decade ago.
The explosions at three churches and three hotels collapsed ceilings and blew out windows, killing worshipers and hotel guests. People were seen carrying victims out of blood-spattered pews. Witnesses described powerful blasts, followed by scenes of smoke, blood, broken glass, alarms going off, and victims screaming.
Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said 13 suspects were arrested, though there was no immediate claim of responsibility.
In a statement, Gunasekara also said police found a van they suspect was used to transport the suspects into Colombo and a safe house used by the attackers.
Gunasekara said at least 207 people were killed and 450 wounded.
Wickremesinghe urged people to “hold our unity as Sri Lankans,” and pledged to “wipe out this menace once and for all.”
The government imposed a nationwide curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and blocked Facebook and other social media, saying it needed to curtail the spread of false information and ease tension.