Sun, 18 Aug 2019

President Cyril Ramaphosa condemned the multiple blasts in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday at churches and hotels, which left over 200 people dead.

"The president said the people of South Africa were joined with the people of Sri Lanka during this difficult time," his spokesperson Khusela Diko said.

"The President condemned the attacks in the strongest terms and emphasised that in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka, South Africa will continue to use its non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council to prioritise the fight against terrorism and extremist groups across the world.

"The President also wishes a speedy recovery to those injured in these horrific attacks."

According to the Guardian, there were blasts at St Sebastian's Church at Negombo, a blast at the Ziol Church in Batticaloa, and St Anthony's Shrine in Colombo. Three luxury hotels were also targeted.

The majority of the people killed, and the hundreds injured, were Sri Lankan.

The country's foreign ministry posted on its website that 11 foreign nationals were among the dead but nine foreign nationals are reported missing, and there are 25 unidentified bodies believed to be of foreigners.

The fatalities are: three from India, one from Portugal, two from Turkey, three from the UK, and two holding US and UK nationalities.

The local Sunday Times reported that among the dead was a popular TV chef Shantha Mayadunne. Before the blast her daughter Nisanga had posted a picture of herself and her mum on Instagram, having breakfast at one of the hotels targeted.

At least eight people had reportedly been arrested, and authorities were establishing the reason for the attack.

A curfew had also been put in place.

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