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Bomb Blast Rocks Sri Lanka As Van Explodes Outside Church

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A bomb explosion has created a havoc in the island nation as a van exploded while the experts tried to defuse it, just a day after a series of explosions killed hundreds.

“The van exploded when the bomb defusing unit of the STF (Special Task Force) and air force tried to diffuse the bomb,” a witness told.

Earlier, a series of suicide bombs killed hundreds at different locations in Sri Lankan capital, Colombo – including at three churches in Negombo, Batticaloa and Colombo’s Kochchikade district and the Shangri-La, Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand hotels.

Meanwhile, police conducted raids on two addresses – one in Dehiwala, southern Colombo, and one near the district of Dematagoda – where there were two further explosions and three officers were killed.

The number of deaths has surpassed 290, and injured list has risen to almost 500. Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne has said the Sri Lankan government thinks an ‘international network’ could be behind the Easter Sunday attacks.

“We do not believe these attacks were carried out by a group of people who were confined to this country,” Senaratne said.

“There was an international network without which these attacks could not have succeeded.”

In a tweet, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the attacks have killed ‘many innocent people’ and seemed to be a ‘well-coordinated attempt’ to create ‘murder, mayhem and anarchy’.

A nationwide emergency will be declared from midnight (19:30 GMT) on Monday, the president’s office has said.

Curfew has also been imposed by the government until 4 am on Tuesday which will be followed by a national day of mourning.