Two Australians Killed In Sri Lanka Terror Blasts, As First Victims Named
PM Scott Morrison has confirmed two Australians have been killed in the Sri Lanka suicide bomb attacks, among the nearly 300 people killed in the attack on churches and hotels this weekend.
Prime Minister Morrison, speaking from the election campaign trail on Monday, confirmed two Australians in the same family, living in Sri Lanka, had been killed. Two other people, dual nationals with Australian citizenship, were injured.
"They were living in Sri Lanka at the time, and out of respect for the family I can't provide any further details about those two individuals, other than to say we deeply regret these deaths and we extend our deepest and most sincere sympathies to the family," he said.
Morrison said a woman in her mid-50s and a woman in her mid to late 20s were injured, with both said to be in stable condition. One was being treated for shrapnel wounds and another for a broken leg.
A Sri Lankan celebrity chef, and a British mother and her two children, are also thought to be among the 290 reported fatalities, with hundreds more injured, after six simultaneous blasts rocked three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka on Sunday.
Hours later two more explosions were reported by police as the government declared an island-wide curfew between the hours of 6pm and 6am. Three of the explosions occurred while crowds gathered in churches for Easter Sunday mass.
On Monday, the first victims were named as including at least 35 tourists, including a number of British citizens. Hotels including the Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand and The Kingsbury Colombo were among the sites targeted by the blasts.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it had not received any reports of Australian fatalities in the attack, but that it was providing "consular assistance to one Australia injured in the attacks".
Australians have been advised by DFAT to avoid the area, and minimise movement until the situation stabilises.
"Several" American tourists were killed in the attack, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
The Sun reported that Shantha Mayadunne, a famous TV chef in Sri Lanka who studied in Australia, and her daughter Nisanga were among the victims.
Nisanga had posted a group photo on her Facebook page just hours before the attack, captioned with "Easter breakfast with family". Thousands of comments have poured in on the photo, with countless people sending condolences.
It was also reported that a family of British tourists had been caught up in the bombing, with a mother and her two children feared among the dead.
The Sun reported lawyer Anita Nicholson, and two of her children aged as young as 11, are thought to have been killed in the blast at the Shangri-La while they queued for breakfast in the hotel dining room.
A British politician, Tulip Siddiq, said on Twitter that a family member of hers had died in the terror attack.
"It’s all so devastating. Hope everyone is keeping safe. Solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka," she wrote.
Seven people have so far been arrested over the attacks according to the state Minister of Defence. 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