April 22, 2019 / 2:55 AM / 5 months ago

Timeline - Sri Lankan bomb attacks on hotels, churches: 20 minutes of carnage

(Reuters) - Bomb blasts ripped through churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing 207 and injuring 450 people, in the first major attack on the Indian Ocean island since the end of a civil war 10 years ago.

A crime scene official inspects the site of a bomb blast inside a church in Negombo, Sri Lanka April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

Here is a timeline of the explosions and subsequent events on Sunday. Many of the attacks were carried out by suicide bombers, police said.

8.45 am – Explosion at Shangri La hotel in Colombo

8.45 am - Explosion at St. Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade, Kotahena, Colombo

8.45 am – Explosion at St. Sebastian Catholic Church in Negambo 

8.45 am – Explosion at Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo

8.50 am – Explosion at Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo

9.05 am – Explosion at Zion Roman Catholic Church in Batticaloa 

11.30 am – Emergency Security Council meeting held by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

11.40 am – Government declares closure of schools across the country for two days

12.15 pm – President Maithripala Sirisena appeals for people to keep calm

1.45 pm - Explosion at New Tropical Inn in Dehiwela, near the national zoo. This was the seventh explosion. 

2.15 pm – Explosion at a house in Dematagoda, Colombo, during a police raid (the eighth explosion). Three police officers were killed.

2.20 pm – Officials close down the island nation’s zoo in Dehiwela.

2.30 pm – Government blocks major social media networks and messaging services, such as Facebook and WhatsApp.

2.45 pm – Government declares indefinite island wide curfew.

4.00 pm – All transport services stopped.

4.30 pm – Government declares closure of all state universities indefinitely.

5.00 pm – Special cabinet meeting held, headed by Prime Minister Wickremesinghe.

5.20 pm – Police announce the death toll had risen to 207 with 450 injured.

7.00 pm – Police find a van used to transport explosives.

7.15 pm – Tourism chief says 32 foreigners killed and 30 injured.

Sri Lankan military stand guard near the explosion site at a church in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

8.50 pm – Prime Minister orders a probe into why intelligence services failed to act on a warning about the attacks.

9.30 pm – Police said 13 arrested, all Sri Lankans.

10.30 pm – A petrol bomb attack on a mosque and arson attacks on two shops owned by Muslims are reported in two different parts of the country, police said.

Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Martin Howell and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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