Casualties after several explosions hit churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday

Our Foreign Staff
Sri Lankan military officials stand guard in front of the St. Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade church after an explosion in Colombo - REUTERS

Several blasts hit churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Sunday, injuring at least 80 people as worshipers attended Easter services, police and health officials said.

"Eighty people have already been admitted, and more are still coming in," an official at the Colombo National Hospital told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Police said the blasts hit churches in the north of the capital and in the town of Negombo, just outside Colombo.

The nature of the explosions was not immediately clear.

Sources from two leading tourist hotels in Colombo also confirmed the explosions but did not give any details.

"A bomb attack to our church, please come and help if your family members are there," read a post in English on the Facebook page of the St Sebastian's Church at Katuwapitiya in Negombo.

Only around six percent of mainly Buddhist Sri Lanka is Catholic, but the religion is seen as a unifying force because it includes people from both the Tamil and majority Sinhalese ethnic groups.

More to follow...