'Cold-blooded, barbaric': PM Modi condemns attacks in call with Sri Lankan President and PM
New Delhi, Apr 21: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a telephonic conversation with the Sri Lanka PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and President Mathripala Sirisena conveyed his condolences over the lives lost in the attacks.
According to the press release that was sent out by the Prime Minister's Office, he is also said to have condemned the serial terrorist attacks and described it as "cold-blooded " and "pre-planned barbaric attack".
Modi said that the attacks are a grim reminder of the challenge terrorism poses to the world, specifically the South Asian region. The Prime Minister also renewed his offer to render all possible help and assistance to Sri Lanka towards boosting security to overcome challenges posed by terrorism.
A string of near simultaneous blasts struck three churches and luxury hotels frequented by foreigners in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing more than 160 people and injuring over 450 others, shattering a decade of peace in the country after the end of the brutal civil war with the LTTE.
The blasts - one of the deadliest in the island nation's history - targeted St Anthony's Church in Colombo, St Sebastian's Church in the western coastal town of Negombo and a church in the eastern town of Batticaloa around 8.45 a.m. (local time) as the Easter Sunday mass were in progress, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said.
Three explosions were reported from the five-star hotels - the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury in Colombo.
Also Read | 10 years after death of LTTE, peace shattered in Sri Lanka again
Harsha de Silva, Sri Lanka's Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution, said that there have been "many casualties including foreigners." "45 people died in Colombo where three hotels and a church were hit, while more than 90 were killed in Negombo and 27 in Batticaloa," hospital sources said, adding that more than 450 people were injured in the blasts.
Nine bodies of foreigners are among 45 bodies at the Colombo National Hospital, they said, adding that Americans and British citizens were among the dead.