Two Australians including a 10-year-old girl have been killed in the Sri Lanka bomb blasts and another two have been injured.
Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison has confirmed the deaths, as the number of people believed to be killed in the attacks has risen to at least 290.
“Right now, Sri Lanka is grieving, Australia is grieving,” Morrison told reporters in Melbourne.
“Two Australians have lost their lives in this terrible massacre and my heart is full of grief for them and their families.”
* Sri Lanka identifies group suspected in Easter bombings
* Sri Lanka attacks: Bombs kill at least 290, injure hundreds at hotels and churches on Easter Sunday
* Sri Lanka attacks: Day of carnage an ‘attempt to create murder, mayhem and anarchy’
There have not been any reports of any New Zealanders being killed so far.
While Morrison did not go into details about the Australians killed, SBSreported on Monday the dead were an Australian mother and her 10-year-old daughter who were attending a church service in Negombo.
SBS said the mother, Manik Suriaaratchi, and her daughter Alexendria had returned to Sri Lanka several years ago to look after a family member, according to a friend of the family.
Morrison confirmed another two Australians – both of whom were dual citizens – have been injured but are in a stable condition. One has been treated for shrapnel wounds and the other a broken leg, with both receiving consular support.
Morrison said it was too early to say whether more Australians could be among those who have been hurt.
“As the days pass, and the injured are treated, and some of them succumb to their wounds as well, we are seeing this massacre going from what was bad, very bad, to much, much worse,” he said.
Labor leader Bill Shorten described the attacks as devastating. ”At a time like this, politics is not as important. At a time like this, we are all Australians,” he told reporters in Townsville.
“Easter Sunday’s senseless and barbaric murder of hundreds of citizens, including two Australians and 500 injured, is something we should all mourn and we do.”
More than 500 people have been injured in the bomb blasts that ripped through three churches, three luxury hotels and a guesthouse on Easter Sunday.
The US said “several” Americans were among the dead, while Britain, India, China, Japan and Portugal said they, too, lost citizens.
The Australian High Commission in Sri Lanka has been working to determine the whereabouts of Australians and monitor the situation. Australia’s travel advice for Sri Lanka has been upgraded to “reconsider your need to travel” in the aftermath of the attack.
New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said New Zealanders in Sri Lanka should be vigilant in public areas and follow any advice issued by local authorities.
New Zealanders in Sri Lanka in need of consular assistance should contact the New Zealand High Commission in New Delhi, on +91 11 468 83170.
Sub note from Host:
Then maybe forever christian death, there should be 10 Muslim deaths.