Sri Lanka bomb blasts: MEA confirms death of five Indians in ghastly attackshttps://indianexpress.com/article/world/sri-lanka-bomb-blasts-indians-killed-mea-sushma-swaraj-5687834/

Sri Lanka bomb blasts: MEA confirms death of five Indians in ghastly attacks

Nearly 300 people were killed and over 500 injured in the blasts that ripped through churches and luxurious hotels across the Indian Ocean island on Sunday.

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Relatives of people killed in Church blasts mourn as they wait outside mortuary of a hospital in Colombo. (AP)

The number of Indians killed in the deadly Sri Lanka serial bombings rose to five, Ministry of External Affairs chief Sushma Swaraj confirmed on Monday. Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said four of the victims were JD(S) workers who, along with seven others, were on a tour to Colombo.

Swaraj retweeted a post by the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka which said, “Sushma Swaraj, we sadly confirm the deaths of the following two individuals in the blasts yesterday: – K G Hanumantharayappa -M Rangappa.”

Referring to the minister’s claims, Kumaraswamy said four of the deceased were his party members while the remaining three were still missing. “I am deeply pained at the loss of our people in the #colombo attacks. Out of the seven missing after the #TerrorAttack, four have been declared dead. Their names are – Lakshmana Gowda Ramesh – K M Lakshminarayan – M Rangappa – KG Hanumantharayappa,” he tweeted.

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“The three others who are missing are H ShivuKumar,A Maregowda and H Puttaraju. The Chief Secretary’s office is in constant touch with the Resident Commissioner at Karnataka Bhavan, New Delhi, and the families of the victims and the missing persons for further information on them,” he added.

Hours after the explosions on Sunday, the Indian embassy had announced that four Indians were among those killed. They were identified as Lokashini, Narayan Chandrashekhar and Ramesh. However, the embassy had failed to identify the fourth person.

Giving details of the Indian victims, Swaraj had tweeted: “Indian High Commission in Colombo has conveyed that National Hospital has informed them about the death of three Indian nationals. Their names are Lokashini, Narayan Chandrashekhar and Ramesh. We are ascertaining further details.” She later corrected the first name to Lakshmi.

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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan claimed a woman from Kasargod district, P S Raseena, was also among those killed. Vijayan posted on his official Facebook page that “steps are being taken” to facilitate the return of the body of Raseena, who hails from Mogral Puthur in Kasargod. Sources in Raseena’s family said she was killed in the blast at the Shangri-La hotel.

India condemned the “serial terrorist attacks” in the “strongest terms”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi called up Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and offered help. During the telephone conversation, Modi said the “cold-blooded and pre-planned barbaric acts” were another grim reminder of the most serious challenge posed to the entire humanity by terrorism in our region and the entire world, a statement by MEA said.

Nearly 300 people were killed and over 500 injured in the blasts that ripped through churches and luxurious hotels across the Indian Ocean island on Sunday. While 24 persons have been arrested so far, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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