Sri Lanka blasts: Modi, Kohli, Imran Khan condemn attacks

Sri Lanka
The April 21 serial blasts in Sri Lanka claimed more than 359 lives. Since then the country is in the grip of fear and trepidation.

Minutes after seven bomb blasts ripped through Sri Lanka, killing at least 160 people and injuring 450 at three churches, as many hotels and a zoo, messages have poured in from the global community, condemning the attacks and condoling the families of those who lost their lives in the attacks.

#PrayForSriLanka trended on Twitter as denizens across the world prayed for the safety of Sri Lankans and people who lost their loved ones in the blasts.

In a tweet Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called the attacks “cowardly” and urged his countrymen to remain united and strong in the time of crisis.

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Wickremesinghe’s predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa while condoning the families of the dead said the attacks perpetrated on a holy day were “absolutely barbaric”.

In another tweet Rajapaksa said the country will not “tolerate such violence, such acts of terrorism, of cowardice within our borders once again. We will stand together and rise up against it as one voice.”

The blasts targeted St Anthony’s Church in Colombo, St Sebastian’s Church in the western coastal town of Negombo and another church in the eastern town of Batticaloa around 8.45 am (Srilankan local time) as the Easter Sunday mass were in progress, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said.

Three explosions were also reported from five-star hotels – the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand, the Kingsbury – and Dehiwala zoo. Foreigners and locals who were injured in hotel blasts were admitted to the Colombo General Hospital.

Prominent Sri Lankan politician Managal Samaraweera, called the attacks a “well-coordinated attempt to create murder, mayhem and anarchy” in the country.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted that she is constantly in touch with officials in the Indian High Commission and is keeping a close watch on the situation.

The Indian Embassy in Sri Lanka has also issued emergency numbers for Indians in distress.

The film and cricketing fraternities from across the world also took to Twitter to express solidarity with the bereaved families.

Sri-Lankan-born-Indian actress, Jacqueline Fernandez, a native of Sri Lanka condemned the attacks and said “it is unfortunate that one is not able to see that violence is like a chain reaction”.

Pakistan’s foreign office tweeted that the country stands by the people of Sri Lanka and its government at this moment of tragedy and terror.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan also offered his solidarity with Sri Lankans through a tweet.

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