Police officials in Sri Lanka said that seven people had been arrested in connection with the attacks, which were described as coordinated and by a single group. The Colombo attacks were said to have been carried out by suicide bombers.
At least 207 people were killed and at least 450 wounded, the authorities said, and 27 foreigners were reported to be among the dead. News media reports said British, Chinese and Dutch citizens were among the victims.
Former President Barack Obama issued a brief statement via Twitter to offer condolences. The anti-Christian terrorism was called “an attack against humanity.”
It’s important to note that these attacks are not new. This is the continuation of thousands of years of global persecution, a persecution that has also been faced by Muslims, by Hindus, by Buddhists, by all people of God, across the world. Violence against Christians in Sri Lanka has a long history; they’re a small minority making up around 6 percent of the country’s population, according to the New York Times. But the story of Resurrection remains bigger than any tragedy endured. People have already begun coming together to restore, uplift, and resurrect the community and each other.
Sri Lankan Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, in a tweet to his followers, thanked the community for solidarity and the generous actions of religious unity in the name of humanity.
“In the midst of this tragedy,” he wrote, “it’s reassuring to see the outpouring of solidarity as people donate blood. Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim & others are donating because we are humans with the same blood & same spirit of compassion. Nobody can deny our common humanity.”
Correction: Sept. 21, 2019, 4:33 p.m.: This story has been edited to add fuller sourcing.