Sri Lanka bombings: Victims killed in Easter Sunday terror identified
Five Brits are among 207 people killed in a devastating Easter Sunday terror attack on eight churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka today.
Nearly 500 were injured when suicide bomb blasts ripped through buildings in Colombo — where tourists were eating breakfast and Christian worshippers had gathered for morning mass.
According to The Sun, London student Nisanga Mayadume and her TV chef mum Shantha Mayadume were this afternoon confirmed to be among 35 tourists killed in the atrocity.
Ms Mayadume posted a heartbreaking photo of the family having breakfast at the Shangi-La Hotel just moments before the deadly explosion.
The University of London graduate, believed to be in her 30s, captioned the Facebook update from just ten hours ago with “Easter breakfast with family”, under which hundreds of people have commented “RIP”.
Three churches and three hotels — the luxury Shangri-La Hotel, Cinnamon Grand and The Kingsbury Colombo — were targeted in the devastating attacks.
A manager at the Cinnamon Grand said the attacker there set off the explosion when the restaurant was full, after queuing for the breakfast buffet.
A terrified British family told how they were caught up in the atrocity as their hotel became a target for the terror.
Julian Emmanuel and his family, from Surrey, were staying at the Cinnamon Grand when the bomb went off.
He told the BBC: “We were in our room and heard a large explosion. It woke us up. There were ambulances, fire crews, police sirens.
“I came out of the room to see what’s happening, we were ushered downstairs.
“We were told there had been a bomb. Staff said some people were killed. One member of staff told me it was a suicide bomber.”
With the exact number of Brits caught up in the horrifying attacks unknown at this stage, a spokesman from the Foreign Office said: “We are aware of reports of a number of explosions in Sri Lanka, including Colombo, and we are urgently seeking information from the local authorities.
“British nationals in Sri Lanka should follow the instructions of the local authorities and check FCO travel advice for updates.”
Britain’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka James Dauris added in a statement: “We understand that some British citizens were caught in the blasts but we are unable to say how many people are, or might have been, affected.”
Worshippers were attacked at St Anthony’s Shrine, a Catholic Church in Kochchikade, Colombo, St Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, a majority Catholic town north of Colombo, and at Zion Church in the eastern town of Batticaloa — where more than 300 people are thought to have been injured.
Dozens of people in Sri Lanka reported a restriction on social media use this morning, following the explosions.
The government confirmed it has shutdown access to Facebook and WhatsApp — a tactic which has been used before in the country to prevent the spread of violence and misinformation.
A night curfew from 6pm to 6am is also in place in the wake of the attacks, the Sri Lanka defence minister announced, with no indication when it will be lifted.
There are concerns for the welfare of a Brisbane woman staying Batticaloa.
Her family have not heard from her since the bombing.
A family member told The Courier Mail that she was staying at St Michael’s College National School directly across from the Zion church which was attacked by terrorists.
DFAT has been contacted in regards to her welfare.
A DFAT spokesman has also said a significant amount of the internet service is down in Sri Lanka making it hard for people to be contacted.
— With The Sun.
Originally published as Easter bombing victims identified