Five Britons killed in Sri Lanka terror attacks which left more than 200 dead, foreign ministry confirms

Gabriella Swerling
Sri Lankan security personnel walk past dead bodies covered with blankets amid blast debris at St. Anthony's Shrine following an explosion in the church in Kochchikade in Colombo - AFP or licensors

Five Britons have been killed in the Sri Lankan terror attacks which left more than 200 people dead, the country’s foreign ministry has confirmed.

James Dauris, the UK's High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, who visited some of the injured Britons in hospital, earlier today condemned the "deplorable violence" as he urged people in Sri Lanka to get in touch with members of their family to let them know they were safe.

The country’s foreign ministry said the nationalities of 11 foreigners killed in the Easter Sunday blasts have been verified.

It was confirmed that three Britons and two people holding joint US and British citizenship were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks after a series of explosions which ripped through churches and luxury hotels.

Three Indians, one Portuguese national, two Turkish nationals were killed while a further nine foreigners were also reported missing. A Dutch national and a Chinese national also have been reported among the victims.

The Easter attacks mark the worst bloodshed Sri Lanka has seen since its brutal civil war ended a decade ago.

The authorities said 207 were killed and 450 injured in the attacks, most of which were being blamed on suspected suicide bombers.

No one has taken responsibility for the killings, but officials say seven suspects have been arrested.

News of the death of the British nationals came as the first victims of the Easter bombings were named as a TV chef and her daughter, Nisanga. Shantha Mayadunne had been staying at the Shangri-La hotel in the capital Colombo which was one of four hotels bombed this morning.

Her daughter had posted a photo of the family in the hotel shortly before the explosion with the caption, 'Easter breakfast with my family'.

Six nearly simultaneous explosions at churches and hotels killed scores of people in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa.

Hours later there were further explosions in Dehiwala and Dematagoda on the outskirts of Colombo.

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.

Mr Dauris said: "I've been speaking this afternoon with Brits in hospital who have been affected by today's senseless attacks.

"My team's and my thoughts go out to all those people who are suffering as a result of the deplorable violence Sri Lanka has witnessed this Easter Sunday."

Prime Minister, Theresa May said the Easter Sunday massacre was "truly appalling" and "no one should ever have to practise their faith in fear".