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Sri Lanka attacks: Death toll soars to 290

The death toll in Sri Lanka has soared to 290 after a wave of blasts hit churches and luxury hotels across the country on Sunday.

Police said that 24 people have been arrested, but it is not yet known who carried out the attacks.

About 500 people are injured and dozens of foreigners are among the dead.

The country is in shock after the Easter Sunday bombings, the deadliest violence since the end of the civil war in 2009.

Late on Sunday Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said security services had been “aware of information” of possible attacks but that the information had not been acted upon.

How did the attacks unfold?

The first reports of explosions came at about 08:45 (03:15 GMT) local time – with six blasts reported within a small space of time.

Three churches in Negombo, Batticaloa and Colombo’s Kochchikade district were targeted during Easter services and blasts also rocked the Shangri-La, Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand hotels in the country’s capital.

As police hunted those responsible, two further explosions were reported.

One blast hit near the zoo in Dehiwala, southern Colombo, and an eighth was reported near the Colombo district of Dematagoda during a police raid, killing three officers. -BBC

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