'Six-Foot' Pipe Bomb Found At Airport Hours After Sri Lankan Explosions
Six near-simultaneous bombings have hit three churches and three tourist hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing at least 200 and injuring more than 450 others.
Six bombs have detonated near simultaneously at three churches and three hotels frequented by tourists in Sri Lanka, while another two went off hours later.
At least 207 people have been killed and 450 more injured in the Easter Sunday bombings around that started at around 8.45am local time.
Authorities have also shut down Colombo airport as a 'six-foot' pipe bomb was defused hours after the bombings.
Air Force Spokesman Gihan Seneviratne told media it was a 'PVC pipe which was six feet in length containing explosives'.
The first six explosions were reported from at least two luxury hotels and a church in Colombo, and two other churches in Katana and in Negombo, north of Colombo.
The second two took place hours later. At least two people killed in the seventh blast that took place in Colombo in a small hotel near Dehiwela- opposite a zoo.
It's believed three police officers were also killed during raids on a house in Colombo, according to an official, where the eighth explosion took place.
Seven people have so far been arrested over the attacks according to the state Minister of Defence,
Australians have been advised by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade to avoid the area, and minimise movement until the situation stabilises.
While Prime Minister Scott Morrison has condemned the 'terrorist attacks' and said he was being on the situation.
According to multiple reports, the initial six bombings were carried out by suicide bombers.
St. Sebastian's Church in Negombo, a Catholic majority town, posted pictures of destruction inside the church on its Facebook page, showing blood on pews and the floor, and requested help from the public.
AFP have reported that a top police official alerted Sri Lanka's security officials 10 days ago that churches were threatened by a radical Islamist group, National Thowheeth Jama'ath but it is unclear what action, if any, was taken by police forces following this advisory.
However, no group has claimed responsibility for the blast yet.
Any Australians concerned about loved ones in Sri Lanka should call 1300 555 135.
Affected Australians should contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra on +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas