Sri Lanka terror attacks: 20 minutes of carnage

Sri Lanka terror attacks: 20 minutes of carnage
Sri Lankan military stand guard near the explosion site at a church in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka April 21, 2019. Reuters

Bomb blasts ripped through churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing 290 and injuring 500 people, in the first major attack on the Indian Ocean island since the end of a civil war 10 years ago.

Here is a timeline of the explosions and subsequent events. Many of the attacks were carried out by suicide bombers, the police said.


8.45 am – Explosion at Shangri La hotel in Colombo.

8.45 am - Explosion at St. Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade, Kotahena, Colombo.

8.45 am – Explosion at St. Sebastian Catholic Church in Negambo.

8.45 am – Explosion at Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo.

8.50 am – Explosion at Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo.

9.05 am – Explosion at Zion Roman Catholic Church in Batticaloa.

Sri Lanka Terror Attack

11.30 am – Emergency Security Council meeting held by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

11.40 am – Government declares closure of schools across the country for two days.

12.15 pm – President Maithripala Sirisena appeals for people to keep calm.

1.45 pm - Explosion at New Tropical Inn in Dehiwela, near the national zoo. This was the seventh explosion.

2.15 pm – Explosion at a house in Dematagoda, Colombo, during a police raid (the eighth explosion). Three police officers were killed.

2.20 pm – Officials close down the island nation’s zoo in Dehiwela.

2.30 pm – Government blocks major social media networks and messaging services, such as Facebook and WhatsApp.

2.45 pm – Government declares indefinite island wide curfew.

4.00 pm – All transport services stopped.

4.30 pm – Government declares closure of all state universities indefinitely.

5.00 pm – Special cabinet meeting held, headed by Prime Minister Wickremesinghe.

5.20 pm – Police announce the death toll had risen to 207 with 450 injured.

7.00 pm – Police find a van used to transport explosives.

7.15 pm – Tourism chief says 32 foreigners killed and 30 injured.

8.50 pm – Prime Minister orders a probe into why intelligence services failed to act on a warning about the attacks.

9.30 pm – Police said 13 arrested, all Sri Lankans.

10.30 pm – A petrol bomb attack on a mosque and arson attacks on two shops owned by Muslims are reported in two different parts of the country, police said.


8.30 am - Police put the death toll at 290 with 500 injured.

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