Sri Lanka explosions: More than 200 killed as churches and hotels targeted

(BBC) – At least 207 people have been killed and 400 hurt in explosions at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, police say.

At least eight blasts were reported. Three churches in Negombo, Batticaloa and Colombo’s Kochchikade district were targeted during Easter services.

The Shangri-La, Kingsbury, Cinnamon Grand and a fourth hotel, all in Colombo, were also hit.

A curfew has been imposed from 18:00 to 06:00 local time (12:30-00:30 GMT). Seven arrests have been made.

The government also said there would a temporary block on the use of major social media networks.

No-one has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks but the defence minister said they were probably carried out by one group.

What’s the latest from the scene?

St Sebastian’s church in Negombo was severely damaged. Images on social media showed its inside, with a shattered ceiling and blood on the pews. Dozens of people are reported to have died there.

There were heavy casualties too at the site of the first blast in St Anthony’s, a hugely popular shrine in Kochchikade, a district of Colombo.

Among those killed in Colombo were at least nine foreign nationals, hospital sources told the BBC.