"Keeping Close Watch": Sushma Swaraj After Sri Lanka Serial Blasts

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National Hospital spokesperson Dr. Samindi Samarakoon said almost 300 wounded were admitted to the capital's main hospital.

Over 40 persons have reportedly been killed while more than 260 people have been injured and admitted to the Colombo National Hospital following the explosions in Colombo this morning, hospital sources said.

Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal said in a statement that the people and government of Pakistan stand by Sri Lanka after the Easter Sunday blasts that killed at least 138 people.

The first explosions were reported at St Anthony's Church in Colombo and St Sebastian's in the town of Negombo just outside the capital.

There were blasts at three five star hotels, the Shangri-La Hotel, the Kingsbury Hotel and Cinnamon Grand Hotel, located in Colombo.

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

There were no immediate claims of responsibility.

"A bomb attack to our church, please come and help if your family members are there", said the post in English on the Facebook page of the St Sebastian's Church at Katuwapitiya in Negombo.

Pakistan's foreign ministry has condemned explosions and terrorist attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka.

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(AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena) People gather outside St. Anthony's Shrine where a blast happened, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, April 21, 2019.

The report also said Buddhist monks regularly tried to close down Christian and Muslim places of worship, citing unidentified sources.

However, a security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to reporters said he suspected at least two of the blasts were caused by suicide bombers.

The Indian high commision in a Twitter post said: "Explosions have been reported in Colombo and Batticaloa today". It was unclear whether there were any casualties in the hotels.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called a national security council meeting at his home for later in the day.

A series of bomb blasts in Sri Lanka, now a seventh one in Dehiwela. "The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation".

Sri Lanka is a majority-Buddhist country, with 6 per cent of the population adhering to the Catholic faith.

Sri Lanka has been at times one of the most unsafe locations in the world for terrorist attacks.

Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, the archbishop of Colombo, told local TV that the public should remain calm and asked authorities to bring those responsible for the attacks before the law.

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