#SriLankaBlasts: Three Indians among those killed, says Sushma Swaraj
Three Indian nationals were among those killed in the bomb blasts in Sri Lanka today, said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. She tweeted that the Indian High Commission in Colombo informed about the death of the Indian nationals. As many as 207 people, including many foreigners, were killed in a series of eight deadly bomb blasts at churches and high-end hotels in Sri Lanka.
The explosions were reported around 8:45 AM (Local time). The churches which were attacked were St. Anthony's Church in Kochchikade of the capital Colombo, the St.Sebastian's Church in Katuwapitiya of Negombo and another one in Batticaloa. Blasts also ripped apart the Shangri-La, Kingsbury, and Cinnamon Grand hotels. An eye witness said the intensity of the blasts shook buildings in the area.
Notably, police chief Pujuth Jayasundara had sent an intelligence warning to top officials on April 11 to warn them of a probable attack. "A foreign intelligence agency has reported that the NTJ (National Thowheeth Jama'ath) is planning to carry out suicide attacks targeting prominent churches as well as the Indian high commission in Colombo," the alert read. NTJ is a radical Islamic group.
"Indian High Commission in Colombo has conveyed that National Hospital... informed them about the death of three Indian nationals. Their names are Lokashini, Narayan Chandrashekhar and Ramesh. We are ascertaining further details," Swaraj tweeted. "Indian High Commission in Colombo @IndiainSL will provide you all help and assistance. Our helpline numbers are: +94777903082, +94112422788, +94112422789," she wrote in another tweet.
Indian High Commission in Colombo has conveyed that National Hospital has informed them about the death of three Indian nationals. Their names are Lokashini, Narayan Chandrashekhar and Ramesh. We are ascertaining further details. /3— Chowkidar Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) April 21, 2019
Police have arrested seven people who are suspected of having links with the terror attacks in the country, according to Sri Lanka's Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardene. He added, "Most of the attacks were carried out by suicide bombers."
Of the 207 killed in the bomb blasts, as many as 30 people are believed to be foreign nationals, according to Sri Lankan authorities. The blasts left hundreds of other people injured. While six of the blasts took place in quick succession, the other two blasts took place a few hours later. The attackers targeted luxury hotels and churches during the Easter services.
In another tweet, Swaraj wrote, "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."