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Sri Lanka bombings: 290 dead, more than 500 injured in church, hotel explosions on Easter Sunday

Three churches were targeted during Easter services. At least 290 people were killed and hundreds more injured on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka when attackers unleashed an apparently coordinated series of suicide bombings that simultaneously targeted Christian churches and luxury hotels, sending a wave of terror across the globe.

Eight explosions took place miles apart, three at Christian churches holding Easter services and three at hotels, some commonly used by Western tourists. In addition to those who were killed, at least 450 were wounded, according to officials with police, the Colombo Hospital, and St. Sebastian Church.

Most of the explosions were detonated by suicide bombers, according to the Sri Lankan Defense Ministry.

At least 11 foreigners were confirmed killed in the attacks, including two victims who were dual citizens of the United States and the United Kingdom. One American was also among the missing, officials said.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed Sunday that "several U.S. citizens were among those killed."

All of the foreigners died in attacks on hotels in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, an island nation off the southern tip of India in the Indian Ocean, according to the officials.

President Donald Trump sent his condolences to the country in an early morning tweet from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, where he is spending the Easter holiday.

Christian persecution 'at near genocide levels'

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has ordered a review into the plight of persecuted Christians around the world and how much help they get from the UK.

The review, led by the Bishop of Truro, will look at government efforts to help some of the 215 million Christians who faced discrimination and violence last year, according to the Foreign Office.

Officials say violence against Christians is rising dramatically, with an average of 250 killed every month.

Mr Hunt said the UK "must do more".

"Britain has long championed international religious freedom," he said.

"So often, the persecution of Christians is a telling early warning sign of the persecution of every minority."

The Foreign Office said the review would "consider some tough questions and offer ambitious policy recommendations".



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