Sri Lanka government declares curfew, shuts down access to major social media sites


Sri Lanka government declares curfew, shuts down access to major social media sites
Sri Lankan military stand guard in front of the St. Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade church after an explosion in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

The Sri Lankan government declared a curfew with immediate effect following eight explosions that killed nearly 140 people, and mostly targeted churches and hotels.

Junior defense minister Ruwan Wijewardene told reporters in Colombo: “A curfew will be imposed until things settle down.”

Government officials also said major social media networks and messaging apps, including Facebook and WhatsApp, have been blocked inside the country to prevent misinformation and rumors.

Easter Day bomb blasts at three Sri Lankan churches and four hotels killed 138 people and wounded more than 400, hospital and police officials said, following a lull in major attacks since the end of the civil war 10 years ago.

It was unclear when the curfew would be lifted.

More than 50 people were killed in St. Sebastian’s gothic-style Catholic church in Katuwapitiya, north of Colombo, a police official told Reuters, with pictures showing bodies on the ground, blood on the pews and a destroyed roof.

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