Dashcam video shot from a vehicle being driven towards St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo on Sunday, April 21, shows the moment a bomb exploded in the building.
The blast at the tourist landmark—timed at 8:45 a.m. local time—was one of the coordinated bombings which targeted Sri Lankan churches and hotels on Easter Sunday.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the explosions, many of the suicide bombings, which killed 290 people and wounded 500 others—the deadliest attack in the island nation since the end of a civil war in 2009.
The first six explosions of the day were all reported within a short period in the morning just as church services were starting.
Another explosion took place near the Tropical Inn hotel at about 2 p.m. local time, according to The Independent.
— Asela Waidyalankara (@aselawaid) April 21, 2019
The last explosion took place in the afternoon in a house in Colombo, according to authorities cited by Reuters.
The Latest From the Scene
The morning explosions went off at three Sri Lankan luxury hotels and three churches at around 8:45 a.m. as Easter Sunday services were underway.
In just one church, St. Sebastian’s in Katuwapitiya, north of Colombo, more than 50 people have been killed, a police official told Reuters, with pictures showing bodies on the ground, blood on the pews, and a destroyed roof.
— Sumisha Naidu (@sumishanaidu) April 21, 2019
Media reported 25 people were also killed in an attack on a church in Batticaloa in Eastern Province.
The three hotels hit were the Shangri-La Colombo, Kingsbury Hotel, and Cinnamon Grand Colombo. It was unclear whether there were any casualties in the hotels.
9 foreigners among those who dead in Colombo – Colombo Hospital
— Azzam Ameen (@AzzamAmeen) April 21, 2019
— Rj Saksi™ (@saksivarnan) April 21, 2019
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called a national security council meeting at his home for later in the day.
“I strongly condemn the cowardly attacks on our people today. I call upon all Sri Lankans during this tragic time to remain united and strong,” he said in a Tweet.
I strongly condemn the cowardly attacks on our people today. I call upon all Sri Lankans during this tragic time to remain united and strong. Please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation. The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation.
— Ranil Wickremesinghe (@RW_UNP) April 21, 2019
“Please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation. The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation.”
Rumours circulating on social media that the Red Cross building was attacked is false and wrong information. Please refrain from spreading unauthentic and false information on Social Media.
— Sri Lanka Red Cross (@SLRedCross) April 21, 2019
St. Sebastian’s church posted pictures of destruction inside the church on its Facebook page, showing blood on pews and the floor, and requested help from the public.
Condolences and Condemnations
President Donald Trump condemned the attacks and conveyed his sympathies to the victims.
“Heartfelt condolences from the people of the United States to the people of Sri Lanka on the horrible terrorist attacks on churches and hotels,” the president wrote on Twitter. “We stand ready to help!”
Heartfelt condolences from the people of the United States to the people of Sri Lanka on the horrible terrorist attacks on churches and hotels that have killed at least 138 million people and badly injured 600 more. We stand ready to help!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2019
European leaders have sent sympathies and expressed support.
European Council President Donald Tusk wrote, “A tragic Easter in Sri Lanka. My thoughts are with the families of those killed in the attacks on churches and hotels; and those still fighting for their lives.”
A tragic Easter in Sri Lanka. My thoughts are with the families of those killed in the attacks on churches and hotels; and those still fighting for their lives.
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) April 21, 2019
President of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker wrote, “I offer my heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims who had gathered to worship peacefully or come to visit this beautiful country. We stand ready to support.”
It was with horror and sadness that I heard of the bombings in #SriLanka costing the lives of so many people. I offer my heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims who had gathered to worship peacefully or come to visit this beautiful country. We stand ready to support.
— Jean-Claude Juncker (@JunckerEU) April 21, 2019
Epoch Times reporter Tom Ozimek and Reuters contributed to this report.
With additional reporting by Epoch Times staff.