Sri Lanka bombings: what we know so far

Nearly 300 people, including eight Britons, have died after a series of bombings in Sri Lanka.

Here is what we know so far:

– Six nearly simultaneous explosions at three churches and three hotels took place at Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa on Easter Sunday.

– In Colombo, St Anthony’s Shrine and the Cinnamon Grand, Shangri-La and Kingsbury hotels were targeted in the first wave of explosions.

– Other blasts were reported at St Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, a majority Catholic town north of Colombo, and at Zion Church in the eastern town of Batticaloa.

– Three police officers were killed when they went to question suspects following a tip.

– There were two further explosions later at a guesthouse in Dehiwala and near an overpass at Dematagoda on the outskirts of Colombo.

Soldiers outside St Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Soldiers outside St Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo, Sri Lanka (Eranga Jayawardena/AP)

– Sri Lankan officials have described it as a terrorist attack by religious extremists. Most of the eight blasts are suspected suicide attacks.

– Police will examine reports that the intelligence community failed to detect or warn of possible suicide attacks as part of their investigation.

– Eight Britons are among the 290 people dead.

– Among the Britons feared dead are Anita Nicholson, 42, and her 11-year-old son Alex.

– There are also US, Turkish, Indian, Portuguese, Dutch and Chinese victims among the 27 foreign nationals killed.

– More than 500 people have been injured.

– Thirteen suspects have been arrested, according to officials. No-one has taken responsibility for the massacre.

– Sri Lankan authorities blocked access to many social media services in the wake of the attack, with Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp all affected.

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