More than 200 killed in blasts targeting churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) - The Latest on explosions in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday (all times local):

10:10 p.m.

The secretary general of the world’s largest organization of Muslim nations has condemned the attacks in Sri Lanka that killed more than 200 people on Easter Sunday.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s chief Yousef al-Othaimeen described them as “cowardly attacks” that targeted innocent worshippers and civilians. Some 57 nations are part of the OIC, which is headquartered in Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea city of Jiddah.

Saudi Arabia also denounced the attacks in Sri Lanka and described them as “terrorist explosions,” saying the kingdom extends its condolences to the families of the victims and the people of Sri Lanka.

Earlier Sunday, other Arab Gulf nations issued similar statements condemning the attack.


10 p.m.

New York City police have implemented tightened security measures in the wake of attacks in Sri Lanka that have killed more than 200 people -- including some Americans.

Sgt. Brendan Ryan is a spokesman for the New York Police Department. He says authorities “will make periodic visits to all houses of worship, giving special attention to those with Easter services.”

Ryan said the teams deployed to houses of worship will include resources from the department’s critical response command and strategic response group, which focus on quick response to incidents such as terror attacks.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack that Sri Lankan officials have blamed on religious extremists.


9:50 p.m.

The United States says that “several” American citizens have been killed in the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka.

More than 200 people have died in a series of blasts against churches and hotels that the Sri Lankan government is blaming on religious extremists. And U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (pahm-PAY’-oh) in a statement says that even as details of the attacks are still emerging, the U.S. government can confirm that Americans are among the casualties.

Pompeo says the U.S. Embassy in Colombo, the capital, is working to assist U.S. citizens and their families.

America’s top diplomat says “these vile attacks are a stark reminder of why the United States remains resolved in our fight to defeat terrorism”

He says targeting “innocent people gathering in a place of worship or enjoying a holiday meal are affronts to the universal values and freedoms that we hold dear.”


8:30 p.m.

The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is condemning “this great evil” that targeted Easter Sunday worshippers and others with deadly blasts in Sri Lanka.

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo in a statement offers prayers for the victims and says the attack cannot “overcome the hope” found in the holiday.

The near-simultaneous explosions at churches and hotels killed more than 200 people. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack that Sri Lankan officials have blamed on religious extremists.


8:15 p.m.

Two Muslim groups in Sri Lanka are condemning the attacks on churches and hotels in the country on Easter Sunday that killed more than 200 people.

The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka says it mourns the loss of innocent people in the blasts by extremists who seek to divide religious and ethnic groups.

The All Ceylon Jammiyyathul Ulama a body of Muslim clerics, says targeting Christian places of worship cannot be accepted.

Muslims make up about 10% of Sri Lanka’s population of 23 million.

No one has claimed responsibility for what Sri Lankan officials have described as a terrorist attack by religious extremists.


8:05 p.m.

Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry says the nationalities of 11 foreigners killed in the Easter Sunday blasts have been verified.

They include three Indians, one Portuguese national, two Turkish nationals, three British nationals and two holding U.S. and British nationalities.

The statement also says nine foreigners are reported missing.

A Dutch national and a Chinese national also have been reported among the victims.

The blasts that targeted hotels and churches killed more than 200 people.