Sri Lanka attack death toll rises to 290

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6:18 a.m. ET, April 21, 2019

"We’re thinking of our brothers in Sri Lanka," says Archbishop of Paris at Easter Sunday mass

Michel Aupetit looks on during his first mass as Paris' Archbishop at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, in January 2018.
Michel Aupetit looks on during his first mass as Paris' Archbishop at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, in January 2018. CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images

The Archbishop of Paris, Michel Aupetit, referenced Sri Lanka as he began Easter Mass in Saint Eustache church this morning.

"We’re thinking of our brothers in Sri Lanka, who were slaughtered this morning," he said.

The French capital suffered a devastating fire to its iconic Notre Dame cathedral earlier in the week. Donations have poured in to restore the 850-year-old structure.

6:21 a.m. ET, April 21, 2019

BREAKING: Eighth explosion confirmed

Another explosion -- the eighth of the day -- was reported at a house in Mahawila Gardens, Dematagoda, where a fire was also reported.

Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardene told press that action will be taken to stop the activity of all extremist groups in the country. 

The seventh and eighth explosions, which took place in the Dehiwela and Dematagoda areas, seemed to be committed by "those responsible for the attacks running from the law," according to Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution Harsha de Silva.

6:10 a.m. ET, April 21, 2019

BREAKING: 12-hour curfew announced

Police in Sri Lanka will impose an island-wide curfew starting Sunday from 6 p.m. local (8:30 a.m. ET Sunday), finishing at 6 a.m. local (8:30 p.m ET Sunday) on Monday morning, according to the President's secretary, Udaya R. Seneviratne. 

5:44 a.m. ET, April 21, 2019

Politicians worldwide condemn attacks on churches, hotels in Sri Lanka

European President Jean-Claude Juncker has expressed his "horror and sadness" upon learning of the blasts. He said the European Union stood "ready to support" Sri Lanka.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May also condemned the Sri Lanka bombings.

"The acts of violence against churches and hotels in Sri Lanka are truly appalling, and my deepest sympathies go out to all of those affected at this tragic time.

"We must stand together to make sure that no one should ever have to practise their faith in fear," May said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain denounced the bombings as "terrorist attacks."

"The UAE affirmed its firm stance against all forms of violence, terrorism and extremism, targeting all without distinction between religion and race," the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said.

Both countries expressed solidarity with the government of Sri Lanka.


6:21 a.m. ET, April 21, 2019

This is where the attacks happened

The seven bombings that occurred on Easter Sunday took place in locations across the country, largely in the capital, Colombo, but also in churches and hotels in other Sri Lankan cities.

The three churches that were attacked are St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade, St. Sebastian's church in the nearby city of Negombo and Zion Church in the eastern city of Batticaloa.

Three of the hotels, the Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury hotels, are located in Colombo. A fourth bomb went off later in the day in front of the Dehiwala Zoo in Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, 20 minutes outside of the capital.

6:16 a.m. ET, April 21, 2019

Eyewitness describes aftermath of seventh blast

Asela Waidyalankara, who witnessed the aftermath of the explosion at the hotel in front of the Dehiwala Zoo in Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, said that he heard the explosion and went to his rooftop to check.

He said he saw two helicopters pass over the site, followed by the sound of ambulances and fire trucks. He told CNN that the smoke has stopped now.

Two people reportedly died in the seventh explosion, taking the death toll to at least 140.

5:18 a.m. ET, April 21, 2019

Dashcam footage shows moment of Colombo church blast

Local media are reporting that the dashcam video below captured this morning's explosion outside St. Anthony's church in Colombo.

5:08 a.m. ET, April 21, 2019

Sources say a seventh explosion has occurred

Multiple sources are reporting another explosion at a hotel in front of the Dehiwala Zoo in Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, 20 minutes outside of Colombo.

The explosion comes on the heels of bombings at three churches and three hotels in cities around Sri Lanka this morning.

5:10 a.m. ET, April 21, 2019

State media: Airline passengers required to be at airport four hours ahead of their flights

Official government news portal has reported that passengers departing from Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) will need to be present at the airport at least four hours prior to their departure time, to account for extra security processes.

Sri Lankan Airlines, which is the ground handling agent for all airlines, added that only passengers will be allowed inside the airport terminal.

The airport is located to the north of the capital Colombo, on the outskirts of the city of Negombo, which was the site of at least one bombing today.