Malaysiakini NEWS

Sri Lanka gov't declares curfew, shuts down access to social media sites

Reuters  |  Published:  |  Modified:

The Sri Lankan government declared a curfew with immediate effect, junior defence minister Ruwan Wijewardene said on Sunday, following eight explosions that killed nearly 140 people, and mostly targeted churches and hotels.

"A curfew will be imposed until things settle down," he told reporters in Colombo.

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 rumours. 

Sri Lankan police earlier reported there had been a seventh explosion, the fourth at a hotel, following six reported at hotels and churches earlier in the day that killed nearly 140 people.

The latest explosion to be reported was at a hotel near the national zoo, which is in an area near the capital Colombo.

“There was an explosion in a hotel in Dehiwela near the zoo,” a police official told Reuters, adding that there were no further details available.

An eyewitness on local TV said he saw some body parts, including a severed head lying on the ground near the hotel.

Zoo officials declared the zoo closed after the blast.  

- Reuters

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