Tributes pour in for Sri Lanka bomb attack victims

Officials said about eight explosions targeted churches and hotels in Colombo, Batticaloa and Negombo. More than 200 people are dead and 450 are injured.

Locals react to the bomb attacks in Sri Lanka Sunday

Dead bodies of victims lie inside St. Sebastian's Church damaged in blast in Negombo, north of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, April 21, 2019. (Chamila Karunarathne/Associated Press)

Tributes are pouring in after more than 200 people were killed after a rash of bombings at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka.

Officials said about eight explosions targeted churches and hotels in Colombo, Batticaloa and Negombo.

With more than 200 people dead and 450 injured, officials are calling it one of the deadliest blasts in the country's history.

"It's very devastating," said Shafa Abdul, president of the Sri Lankan Student Alliance group at Western University.

"I was shocked. It's really out of nowhere … I wouldn't expect something like this at all … It's really devastating to know a lot of our people are affected," she told CBC News.

Abdul, who was born in Sri Lanka and raised in Canada, said she checked in on family members back home after she heard the news. Her relatives are safe.

"My sympathies extent to our nation at this time as well as all the families and friends that were affected in any form," she said in a public statement released by the group.

Statement released Sunday by the Sri Lankan Student Alliance group at Western. (Shafa Abdul )

Statement from diocese

Rev. Ronald P. Fabbro, bishop of the London diocese, responded to the attacks in a public written statement on Sunday.

"Along with the rest of the world, I learned this morning of the shocking and cruel terror attacks in Sri Lanka. Easter Sunday is our most holy day, a joyful day that has turned to tears for the innocents who have been injured and killed. These deliberate assaults were not just against our brothers and sisters but on everyone who values life, love, and peace," he said.

"Together with Pope Francis, and on behalf of the faithful of the Diocese of London, I condemn these acts of hatred and express our sorrow for the victims and their families," he added.

Abdul said the local community should band together in solidarity.

"We should all hold a united front and try to help the people that are in need and get the adequate resources that we can," she said.

She hopes a public commemoration will be organized in London.