Sri Lanka Blasts: World Leaders Condemn Attack as Death Toll Rises
Sri Lankan Army soldiers secure the area around St Anthony’s Shrine after a blast in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankan Army soldiers secure the area around St Anthony’s Shrine after a blast in Colombo, Sri Lanka.(Photo: AP)

Sri Lanka Blasts: World Leaders Condemn Attack as Death Toll Rises

World leaders have condemned a series of blasts in Sri Lanka that killed at least 160 people and injured around 400 others on Sunday, 21 April. Two fresh explosions were reported in Colombo after six simultaneous explosions in three churches and three hotels.

According to the Sri Lankan Police, the eighth Sri Lanka blast was a suicide bomb and killed at least three people.

The Sri Lankan government has imposed curfew for the whole island, which will take effect from 6 pm on Sunday to 6 am on Monday, 22 April.

British Prime Minister Theresa May described the attacks as “truly appalling”.

"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," she tweeted, according to AFP.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denounced a series of attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka as “cruel and cynical.” “Russians share the grief of the relatives of those killed and wish a quick recovery to all those who were wounded,” he said, according to AP.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the attacks “an assault on all of humanity." In comments posted on Twitter, Erdogan offered his condolences to families of the victims and to the people of Sri Lanka.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said, "Terrible reports from Sri Lanka about bloody attacks on hotels and churches on this Easter Sunday."

Trump Mistakenly Tweets ‘Millions’ Dead in Explosions

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump made an enormous blunder while expressing his condolences on twitter. Trump inflated the death toll and incorrectly claimed “millions” had died in Sri Lanka.

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah who was quick to spot Trump’s gaffe, said, “You might want to revise that death toll⁩. Not everything is measured in millions. How ‘heartfelt’ can the condolences be if you aren’t even concentrating on the message of condolence when sending it out?”

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@realDonaldTrump)

However, the US President later deleted the tweet and posted a new one with the correct death toll.

‘Devastating Attack’

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia was thinking of those killed in a "horrific terrorist attack".

"To the beautiful people of Sri Lanka, Australia sends its heartfelt sympathies and our prayers and our support and our offer to do whatever we can to support you in this terrible time of need," he said in a statement.

A month after dozens of Muslims were killed in a shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the attack as "devastating."

“New Zealand condemns all acts of terrorism, and our resolve has only been strengthened by the attack on our soil on 15 March. To see an attack in Sri Lanka while people were in churches and at hotels is devastating.”
Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand Prime Minister 

"New Zealand rejects all forms of extremism and stands for freedom of religion and the right to worship safely. Collectively we must find the will and the answers to end such violence," Ardern added.

The Catholic Church in Jerusalem said the blasts were particularly sad as they "came while Christians celebrate Easter".

"We pray for the souls of the victims and ask for speedy recovery of the injured, and ask God to inspire the terrorists to repent of their killing and intimidation," the statement said.

Pope Denounces Violence in Sri Lanka

Pope Francis denounced the violence of the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka and prayed for all those who are suffering from the bloodshed, reported AP.

Francis added an appeal at the end of his traditional Easter Sunday blessing to address the massacre which killed more than 130 people.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier wrote in a message to his Sri Lankan counterpart that he was “stunned and horrified” by the “cowardly terror attacks.”

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz wrote on Twitter that he was "deeply shaken and concerned by (the) devious terrorist attacks."

The head of the European Union's executive Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said he learned of the bombings "with horror and sadness."

Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates all issued statements via their foreign ministries over the attack.

(With inputs from AP and AFP.)

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