Six bombs explode almost simultaneously in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday

08:48 (GMT+2) Sun, 21 Apr 2019
 Sri Lankan firefighters stand in the area around St. Anthony's Shrine after a blast in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, April 21, 2019. Several blasts on Easter Sunday have killed dozens of people. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

At least 50 people have been killed and more than 250 injured in a series of six apparently coordinated explosions in Sri Lanka on Sunday, police have confirmed.

Three of the explosions took place in Catholic churches where Easter services were being held, while three other explosions were reported in five-star hotels, according to police.

The explosions took place almost simultaneously. The first was reported in a church in Colombo, the capital. The other blasts followed within 30 minutes in Negombo, some 30 kilometres from Colombo and another in Batticaloa, 250 kilometres to the east.

There has been no claim of responsibility. Officials have not spoken of a terrorist attack, but the blasts appeared to target religious places and the economy, according to initial local media reports.

Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Sunday that she was in touch with the Indian High Commissioner in Colombo.

She also provided helpline numbers for "Indian citizens in need of assistance or help and for seeking clarification".