Saudi Arabia joins world leaders in condemning Lanka blasts

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Deadly explosions strike across Sri Lanka

Christians make up 7.6% of the population, while 70% are Buddhist, 12.6% Hindu, and 9.7% Muslim are Muslim, according to Sri Lanka's 2012 census. While anti-Muslim bigotry fed by Buddhist nationalists has swept the country recently, there is no history of Islamic militancy.

Meanwhile, another New Zealand woman, Jane Burdon, said she was on the streets of Colombo when the first explosion went off. Thirteen people have been arrested, police said, and three police officers were killed in a raid on a house as they attempted to interrogate an individual.

Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said 207 people were killed and 450 wounded in the blasts.

Powerful explosions struck in quick succession at 3 hotels in the capital Colombo.

They included five British people, two of whom had dual US citizenship, and three Indians, according to officials in those countries. There were also Chinese and Dutch among the dead, according to media reports. 32 foreigners were killed and 30 other were injured in the attacks.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe told reporters that elements of the government had prior intelligence about the attacks.

"Information was there", he said at a news conference.

He also said the government needs to look at the global links of a local militant group.

Cardinal Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Ranjith urged the people of Sri Lanka not to spread "hearsay" and to "wait patiently and work for peace and harmony".

One of the Sri Lanka terrorist bombers checked into a five-star hotel, waited in a queue for a breakfast buffet and then blew himself up, it has emerged.

Some of Colombo's Buddhist monks visited St Anthony's Shrine after the attack.

The U.S. State Department confirmed in a statement that "several U.S. citizens were among those killed" in the explosions, though details were still emerging.

Additional blasts ripped through three high-end hotels, the Shangri La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury, all in capital city Colombo. There was no word on casualties in the hotels, but a witness told local TV he saw some body parts, including a severed head, lying on the ground beside the Tropical Inn.

At roughly the same time, an explosion hit St Anthony's Shrine, an historic Roman Catholic Church in Kochcikade, Colombo.

Hours later, two more explosions occurred - a blast at a guesthouse in Dehiwala killed two and an eighth incident occurred in Dematagoda on the outskirts of Colombo.

Pompeo condemned the attacks "in the strongest terms".

The government beefed up security and imposed an immediate and indefinite curfew across the country.

Mano Ganeshan, the minister for national integration, said his security officers had been warned by their division about the possibility that two suicide bombers would target politicians. Schools, universities and the Colombo Stock Exchange will be closed today as the island state tries to recover from the attacks.

"If I don't reply to your messages it is because WhatsApp and Facebook appears to have been shut down in Sri Lanka", local Roshni Fernando tweeted.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement: "To the attractive people of Sri Lanka, Australia sends its heartfelt sympathies and our prayers and our support - and our offer to do whatever we can to support you in this bad time of need".

Pope Francis, addressing people in St Peter's Square, said, "I wish to express my affectionate closeness to the Christian community, hit while it was gathered in prayer, and to all the victims of such cruel violence".

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