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Terrorism Two Swiss confirmed dead in Sri Lanka bombings

people holding hands in front of a church

Sri Lankan soldiers securing the area around St Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo after Sunday’s blast

(Keystone / Rohan Karunarathne)

Two Swiss citizens, one of them a Swiss-Sri Lankan dual national, were killed in bombings in the capital Colombo on Sunday, the Swiss foreign ministry has confirmed.

According to the Swiss News Agency Keystone-ATS, the foreign ministry sent a statement to the media on Monday evening saying it was in contact with the victims’ family and was offering them support.

A third family member, a dual national but not Swiss, also died.

In addition, the Swiss embassy in Colombo was offering assistance to a Swiss-Sri Lankan family resident in Switzerland two of whose parents were killed. The couple were Sri Lankan.

At least 290 people – many of them celebrating Easter – were killed on Sunday when terrorists bombed three churches and four hotels in Colombo, Batticaloa and Negombo. Another 500 have been injured.

“On behalf of the government I condemn the attacks on religious celebrations in Colombo. My deepest condolences to the victims’ relatives and to the Sri Lankan authorities,” said Swiss President Ueli Maurer on Sunday morning, in a message posted on the Twitter account of the Federal Council spokesman:

In addition to expressing condolences, Switzerland has updated its travel advisory to Sri Lanka following deadly bombings targeted at churches and hotels.

The foreign ministry also condemned the attacks.

“The FDFA regards the attacks on the civilian population with sadness, and condemns the intolerance and violence that have caused so much suffering in this country,” wrote the department in a statementexternal link issued on Sunday afternoon.

Seven people were later arrested during a house raid in which three police officers were killed. Sunday’s bombings represent the first major incident since Sri Lanka’s civil war ended a decade ago.

Switzerland has updated its travel advisory to Sri Lankaexternal link with information on Easter Sunday’s attacks, suggesting that visitors follow the Twitter account of the Sri Lankan police, but adding, “It is to be expected that social media will be temporarily restricted”.

SRF/swissinfo.ch/sm

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