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Sri Lanka bombings: Death toll jumps to 290 in Easter Sunday explosions

Colombo:     A series of nine bombings in Sri Lanka targeted Christian churches and hotels in three cities. The death toll has risen to at least 290 people and wounded more than 500 others on Easter Sunday, according to officials. Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardene described the coordinated blasts as a terrorist attack by religious extremists. At 8:45 a.m. Sunday, bombs tore apart three churches, one in the capital of Colombo, and two others in the cities of Negombo and Batticaloa.
Four hotels in Colombo were also attacked: the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand, the Tropical Inn and the Kingsbury. There was another explosion at a housing complex in Dematagoda. Those targeted were members of Sri Lanka’s Christian population and guests at the island nation’s luxury hotels.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said “several U.S. citizens” were among those killed.
The government of Sri Lanka has temporarily blocked social media services like Facebook and WhatsApp to prevent the spread of misinformation.
Sri Lanka’s police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said 24 suspects have been apprehended and the attacks appear to have been carried out by suicide bombers.

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