Sri Lanka bomb blasts: Four Indians killed, hotel targeted near Indian High Commission

KERALA : At least four Indian nationals are reported to be among the victims of bomb blasts in churches and hotels across Sri Lanka on Sunday.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj identified three of them as Lakshmi, Narayan Chandrashekhar and Ramesh. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said a woman from Kasargod district, P S Raseena, was also among those killed. However, there was no official confirmation from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on the identity of the fourth victim.

India condemned the “serial terrorist attacks” in the “strongest terms”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi called up Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and offered help. During the telephone conversation, Modi said the “cold-blooded and pre-planned barbaric acts” were another grim reminder of the most serious challenge posed to the entire humanity by terrorism in our region and the entire world, a statement by MEA said.According to an AFP report, Sri Lanka’s police chief had issued a nationwide alert 10 days ago that suicide bombers planned to hit “prominent churches” and the “Indian High Commission (in Colombo)”. Sources in Delhi were tight-lipped about the threat, but said security has been beefed up around the Indian High Commission after a high-level review.