Britons among the more than 200 dead after eight explosions in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka blasts

British citizens are thought to have been killed in the synchronised explosive attack in Sri Lanka.

At least 200 have perished in the attack, which saw six almost-simultaneous blasts which targeted churches and five-star hotels and two blasts reported later in the day.

It is believed 35 foreigners are among the dead, including British, American and Dutch citizens.

Security officials say the incident appears to be a co-ordinated terror attack and suspect at least two of the explosions were caused by suicide bombers.

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Sri Lanka terror attacks
A man mourns at a grave of a victim, two days after a string of suicide bomb attacks on churches and luxury hotels across the island on Easter Sunday, at Sellakanda Catholic cemetery in Negombo, Sri Lanka April 23, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Grief has rung out through Sri Lanka in the wake of the deadly attacks (AFP Photo/ISHARA S. KODIKARA)
Two women mourn during a funeral service for bomb blast victims at St Sebastian's Church in Negombo on April 23, 2019, two days after a series of bomb attacks targeting churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka. - Sri Lanka began a day of national mourning on April 23 with three minutes of silence to honour more than 300 people killed in suicide bomb blasts that have been blamed on a local Islamist group. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP) (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman cries at a service for bomb blast victims at St Sebastian's Church in Negombo on April 23, 2019, two days after a series of bomb attacks targeting churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka. - Sri Lanka began a day of national mourning on April 23 with three minutes of silence to honour more than 300 people killed in suicide bomb blasts that have been blamed on a local Islamist group. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE - This Sunday, April 21, 2019, file photo shows the inside of St. Sebastian's Church damaged in blast in Negombo, north of Colombo, Sri Lanka. The deadly Easter attacks in Sri Lanka are a bloody echo of decades past in the South Asian island nation, when militants inspired by attacks in the Lebanese civil war helped develop the suicide bomb vest. (AP Photo/Chamila Karunarathne, File)
A Sri Lankan roman catholic woman prays during a three minute nationwide silence observe to pay homage to the victims of Easter Sunday's blasts outside St. Anthony's Shrine in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, April 23, 2019. A state of emergency has taken effect giving the Sri Lankan military war-time powers not used since civil war ended in 2009. Police arrested 40 suspects, including the driver of a van allegedly used by suicide bombers involved in deadly Easter bombings. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
ISIS claims responsibility for Sri Lanka Easter bombings that killed over 300 (ABC News)
A man mourns at a grave of a victim, two days after a string of suicide bomb attacks on churches and luxury hotels across the island on Easter Sunday, at Sellakanda Catholic cemetery in Negombo, Sri Lanka April 23, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
ADDS THE NAME OF CHURCH - Sri Lankan Army soldiers secure the area around St. Anthony's Shrine after a blast in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, April 21, 2019. Witnesses are reporting two explosions have hit two churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, causing casualties among worshippers. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has called a national security council meeting at his house and 200 troops have been deployed to carry out the rescue operation.
Officials say at least two of the blasts were caused by suicide bombers.
Condolences poured in from journalists, cricketers and the film fraternity tweeting condemnation of the attack.
Officials say at least two of the blasts were caused by suicide bombers.
Sri Lanka blasts
Explosions struck hotels and churches.
Todas las explosiones ocurrieron hacia las 8.45 horas (2.30 GMT), en al menos tres hoteles de lujo en Colombo y también en un iglesia de la capital, otra en Katana, en el oeste del país, y la tercera en Batticaloa, en el este de la isla. EFETodas las explosiones ocurrieron hacia las 8.45 horas (2.30 GMT), en al menos tres hoteles de lujo en Colombo y también en un iglesia de la capital, otra en Katana, en el oeste del país, y la tercera en Batticaloa, en el este de la isla. EFETodas las explosiones ocurrieron hacia las 8.45 horas (2.30 GMT), en al menos tres hoteles de lujo en Colombo y también en un iglesia de la capital, otra en Katana, en el oeste del país, y la tercera en Batticaloa, en el este de la isla. EFE
Atentados en Sri Lanka
COLOMBO, SRI LANKA - APRIL 21: An inside view of the St. Anthony's Shrine after an explosion hit St Anthony's Church in Kochchikade in Colombo, Sri Lanka on April 21, 2019. According to reports at least 129 people killed and over 200 injured in blasts during the Easter Sunday service at churches and hotels as worshippers attended Easter services. (Photo by Chamila Karunarathne/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Sri Lankan police stand at the site of an explosion in a restaurant area of the luxury Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo on April 21, 2019. - At least 42 people were killed April 21 in a string of blasts at hotels and churches in Sri Lanka as worshippers attended Easter services, a police official told AFP. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)
Atentados en Sri Lanka
Priests walk into the St. Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade church after an explosion in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
A shoe of a victim is seen in front of the St. Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade church after an explosion in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Sri Lankan police stand at the site of an explosion in a restaurant area of the luxury Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo on April 21, 2019. - At least 42 people were killed April 21 in a string of blasts at hotels and churches in Sri Lanka as worshippers attended Easter services, a police official told AFP. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)
COLOMBO, SRI LANKA - APRIL 21: An inside view of the St. Anthony's Shrine after an explosion hit St Anthony's Church in Kochchikade in Colombo, Sri Lanka on April 21, 2019. According to reports at least 129 people killed and over 200 injured in blasts during the Easter Sunday service at churches and hotels as worshippers attended Easter services. (Photo by Chamila Karunarathne/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Sri Lankan military officers stand guard in front of the St Anthony's Church where an explosion took place in Kochchikade, Colombo, Sri Lanka, on April 21, 2019.- At least 137 people were killed in Sri Lanka on April 21, police sources told AFP, when a string of blasts ripped through high-end hotels and churches as worshippers attended Easter services. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Sri Lankan police stand at the site of an explosion in a restaurant area of the luxury Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo on April 21, 2019. - At least 42 people were killed April 21 in a string of blasts at hotels and churches in Sri Lanka as worshippers attended Easter services, a police official told AFP. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)
COLOMBO, SRI LANKA - APRIL 21: Security forces secure the area around the St. Anthony's Shrine after an explosion hit St Anthony's Church in Kochchikade in Colombo, Sri Lanka on April 21, 2019. According to reports at least 129 people killed and over 200 injured in blasts during the Easter Sunday service at churches and hotels as worshippers attended Easter services. (Photo by Chamila Karunarathne/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Ambulances are seen outside the church premises with gathered people and security personnel following a blast at the St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade, Colombo on April 21, 2019. - At least 42 people were killed April 21 in a string of blasts at hotels and churches as worshippers attended Easter services, a police official told AFP. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)
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The first blast ripped through St Anthony's Shrine in Colombo.

A second explosion was reported at St Sebastian's Church in Negombo, a Catholic majority town north of Colombo.

The Shangri La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury hotels were also targeted in the seemingly synchronised blasts.

The Sri Lankan Government has declared a curfew will be introduced with immediate effect following the attack. The Government did not announce when it will be lifted.

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "We are aware of reports of a number of explosions in Sri Lanka, including Colombo, and we are urgently seeking information from the local authorities.

"British nationals in Sri Lanka should follow the instructions of the local authorities and check FCO travel advice for updates."

James Dauris said he was in Colombo with his family at a church service which was cut short by the attacks.

He tweeted: "Our prayers for the victims of these evil attacks, and for their families. Our thoughts are with the medical staff, police and all involved in the response."

Hunt 'shocked' by attacks

Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said he was "deeply shocked and saddened" by the "horrifying attacks".

He added: "To target those gathered for worship on Easter Sunday is particularly wicked.

"My prayers are with the victims and their families, and with those assisting in the response."

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner wrote: "Shocked and saddened by news of church and hotel bombings in Sri Lanka. Profound condolences to those who suffered in this terrorist attack, another attack on innocent people, truly awful news."

Her Labour colleague Mary Creagh posted on Twitter: "Sickening #EasterSunday #SriLanka terrorist attacks on churches & hotels. Terrible to target Christians celebrating our greatest feast day. My prayers are with victims, their families & everyone caught up in this cruel violence."

Jess Phillips, MP for Birmingham Yardley, wrote: "To target Christians on this their most sacred day is evil. Sending love to Sri Lankans caught in this terror."

Brexit minister James Cleverly wrote: "Sad and shocking news from Sri Lanka. My thoughts are with the Sri Lankan community both here in the UK and around the world and to those who have lost friends or family in these terrible attacks."

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena urged the public to remain calm and allow the authorities to conduct their investigations.

An emergency meeting is to be chaired by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in the wake of the attacks.

National Hospital spokesman Dr Samindi Samarakoon says the nearly 300 wounded have been admitted to the capital Colombo's main hospital.

This article first appeared on Yahoo

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