Trump offers condolences after worshippers targeted in Sri Lanka explosions on Easter Sunday

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President Trump on Sunday offered condolences from the White House after a series of explosions at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka left hundreds of people dead. 

“138 people have been killed in Sri Lanka, with more that 600 badly injured, in a terrorist attack on churches and hotels,” Trump said on Twitter. “The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka. We stand ready to help!”

{mosads}The Associated Press reports that the blasts in Sri Lanka marked the worst episode of violence since the nation’s civil war ended 10 years ago. One official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the AP that two of the explosions are suspected to have been the result of suicide bombers. 

The bombings were coordinated, and they targeted Catholic worshipers attending Easter Mass as well as guests at luxury hotels, according to The New York Times

Dr. Samiddhi Samarakoon, a deputy director of the National Hospital of Sri Lanka, said that the death toll as a result of the bombings had reached 189, The Times noted. Samarakoon added that 11 foreigners were among those that were killed, and ABC News later reported that the foreigners included two dual citizens of the U.K. and U.S.

The churches attacked included St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, a city about 20 miles north of Sri Lanka’s capital, St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo and Zion Church in the eastern city of Batticaloa.

Bombings also occurred at Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury hotels in Colombo. 

It remains unclear who is responsible for the attacks. But police have said that the attacks appear to have been coordinated. 

“Please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation,” Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Twitter. “The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation.”

“The United States condemns in the strongest terms the outrageous terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka that have claimed so many precious lives on this Easter Sunday,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families of the more than 200 killed and hundreds of others wounded. We stand with the Sri Lankan government and people as they bring to justice the perpetrators of these despicable and senseless acts.”

-Updated 11:46 a.m.

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