Timeline: How Sri Lanka’s bomb attacks unfolded in an Easter Sunday of carnage

by - 3 min read

Timeline: How Sri Lanka’s bomb attacks unfolded in an Easter Sunday of carnage

by - 3 min read


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.

Here is a timeline of the explosions and subsequent events on Sunday. Many of the attacks were carried out by suicide bombers, police said. All times are local time in Sri Lanka. 

8.45 a.m. – Explosion at Shangri-la hotel in Colombo, the capital.

8.45 a.m. – Explosion at St. Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade, Kotahena, Colombo.

8.45 a.m. – Explosion at St. Sebastian Catholic Church in Negambo.

8.45 a.m. –  Explosion at Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo. 

Blood stains are seen on the wall and on a Jesus Christ statue at the St. Sebastian’s Church after blast in Negombo, north of Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Sunday. (The Associated Press)

8.50 a.m. – Explosion at Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo.

9.05 a.m. – Explosion at Zion Roman Catholic Church in Batticaloa.

11.30 a.m. – Emergency Security Council meeting held by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

11.40 a.m. – Government declares closure of schools across the country for two days

12.15 p.m. – President Maithripala Sirisena appeals for people to keep calm

1.45 p.m. – Explosion at New Tropical Inn in Dehiwela, near the national zoo. This was the seventh explosion.


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

2.20 p.m. – Officials close down the island national zoo in Dehiwela.

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

2.45 p.m. – Government declares indefinite island wide curfew.

4.00 p.m. – All transport services stopped.

4.30 p.m. – Government declares closure of all state universities indefinitely.

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

Relatives of a blast victim grieve outside a morgue in Colombo on Sunday. (Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press)

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

7.00 p.m. – Police find a van used to transport explosives.

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

8.50 p.m. – Prime minister orders a probe into why intelligence services failed to act on a warning about the attacks.

9.30 p.m. – Police said 13 arrested, all Sri Lankans.

10.30 p.m. – 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.

Sri Lankan Army soldiers secure the area around St. Anthony Shrine after a blast in Colombo on Sunday. (Chamila Karunarathne/Associated Press)

This story originally appeared on CBC