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129 Dead, 300 Injured in multiple blasts in Sri Lanka

Colombo: At least 129 people have been killed and hundreds injured after explosions in three churches and three hotels in and around the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo, according to sources.

The blasts hit several high-end hotels and a church in Colombo, while two other churches were targeted outside Colombo, Sri Lanka police told.

The nature of the explosions, which happened at around 8:45 am local time, was not immediately clear and there were no immediate claims of responsibility.

The Sri Lanka government has called an emergency meeting, the Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution, Harsha de Silva, said in a tweet. “Emergency meeting called in a few minutes. Rescue operations underway,” he tweeted.

President Maithripala Sirisena said he was shocked by the explosions and urged for calm.

The first explosions were reported at St Anthony’s Church in Colombo and St Sebastian’s Church at Katuwapitiya in the town of Negombo.

Soon after the initial reports, four other blasts were confirmed by the police. Three of those were at hotels, while another was reported from a church in the town of Batticaloa.

An official at the Batticaloa hospital told that more than 300 people had been admitted with injuries following the blast there.

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