A woman mourns after the explosion at St. Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade church, in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Reuters
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, expressed his heartfelt condolences to the people of Sri Lanka on the heinous terrorist attacks on churches and hotels that left over 200 dead, and more than 450 injured on Easter Sunday.
Sheikh Mohammed took to Twitter and said, “Terrorists are those who betray worshippers in their places of worship, plant fear in their hearts and try to ignite religious conflicts in societies. Our condolences to the people of Sri Lanka, to the world and to everyone who works tirelessly towards tolerance and coexistence.”
The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation calls on Emiratis to postpone their travel to Sri Lanka due to the current situation. The ministry has also asked citizens in Sri Lanka to remain indoors and contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International cooperation in case of emergency on the number 0097180044444.
The Sri Lanka government declared a curfew in Colombo and blocked access to social media and messaging sites, including Facebook and WhatsApp. It was unclear when the curfew would be lifted.
The family was stunned, grieving — and angry. They had just buried three of their own, an elderly couple and their 11-year-old grandson who were killed in their church pews Easter morning, and they lashed out at the government.
Hospital sources also said Japanese citizens were among those injured by the bombs which ripped through high-end hotels and churches holding Easter services.
Flags were lowered to half mast on government buildings, and people bowed their heads and reflected silently on the violence that has caused international outrage.
The Roads and Transport Authority, RTA, has recently launched a Corporate Automated Chat System, Mahboob, via WhatsApp channel, as part of a plan to step up communication channels with its customers.
A powerful bomb blast outside the gates of Kabul University in the Afghan capital on Friday killed at least eight people and wounded 33, as students and lawyers waited to take an examination, officials said.
Britain said it was urgently seeking information about the Stena Impero after the tanker, which had been heading to a port in Saudi Arabia, suddenly changed course after passing through the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf.