Eight Britons killed in Sri Lanka attacks, including woman, son and daughter

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton tip anti-Christian 'Easter worshippers' hats

Defence minister Ruwan Wijewardene said those responsible for the atrocities were religious extremists, but no group has yet claimed responsibility.

A British teenage brother and sister escaped one of the Sri Lankan terror blasts only to be killed by a second, it was revealed last night.

President Sirisena away in a pilgrimage to India condemned the attacks as a "conspiracy", in a recorded message to the media.

Mr Hunt said the attacks were "absolutely devastating and despicable".

Other governments, including Japan and Australia, have also cautioned citizens planning travel to Sri Lanka.

St. Anthony's is a common tourist destination, as are the three luxury hotels also attacked in Colombo.

Dr Sally Bradley and her husband Bill Harrop were staying in the Cinnamon Grand Hotel when one of the seven suicide bombers struck. The number of arrested in relation with this case crossed 40.

A nationwide curfew began at 9 p.m.

At least five workers from an Indian political party on a break after working on India's general election were among some 290 people killed in bomb attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, a government official said.

In some places, entire families fell victim. Others targeted three churches and two hotels.

Two days later, they were all being mourned by dozens of neighbors gathered at the modest home of Berlington's father, Joseph Gomez.

Word from global intelligence agencies that the local group National Towheed Jamaar was planning attacks apparently didn't reach the prime minister's office until after the massacre, exposing the continuing turmoil in the highest levels of government.

Their deaths have not been confirmed by Sri Lankan authorities.

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SWITZERLAND: The foreign ministry says a Swiss national, a Swiss dual national and a non-Swiss member of the same family were killed.

"The intelligence sections have reported that there are worldwide terror groups which are behind the local terrorists", the statement said.

On Monday, Sri Lanka's health minister held up a copy of the intelligence report while describing its contents, spurring questions about what police had done to protect the public.

It was not immediately clear what action, if any, was taken after the threats. Disanayaka did not answer calls or messages seeking comment.

At Bandaranaike International Airport outside of Colombo early Tuesday morning, police walked explosive-sniffing dogs outside as inside cheery video advertisements of gamblers and snorkelers played. Postal workers were not accepting pre-wrapped parcels. They would reach the city by Tuesday evening or Wednesday, he said. "Neither I nor the Ministers were kept informed", PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. At a later news conference, he warned that more militants and explosives were "out there".

Meanwhile, Dieter Kowalski from Colorado has been identified as one of the Americans killed in the attacks in Colombo, according to Pearson, the education publishing company that Kowalski worked for, CNN reported.

Named by the Lonely Planet guide for independent travelers as the best country to visit in 2019, Sri Lanka had rebuilt its image as a tropical paradise after crushing a long-running separatist insurgency by ethnic minority Tamils a decade ago.

The Easter Sunday bombings were the deadliest violence Sri Lanka has witnessed since the end of the country's civil war in 2009.

While anti-Muslim bigotry has swept the island in recent years, fed by Buddhist nationalists, the island also has no history of violent Muslim militants.

The Japanese government said it has dispatched a special unit to Sri Lanka to gather information on the Japanese victims and the attackers.

Sri Lanka has no history of Islamic militancy. "We don't see that only a small organisation in this country can do all that", said Senaratne.

Associated Press journalists Bharatha Mallawarachi, Jon Gambrell and Rishabh Jain in Colombo, Gemunu Amarasinghe in Negombo, Sri Lanka and Sarah El Deeb in Beirut contributed.

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