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US citizens killed in Sri Lanka Easter attacks, secretary of State Pompeo says, blames 'radical terrorists'

Key Points
  • "The U.S. Embassy is working tirelessly to provide all possible assistance to the American citizens affected by the attacks and their families," Pompeo said.
  • More than 200 people were killed and 450 injured in a series of bomb blasts that hit churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. Some of the attacks were suicide bombs, authorities said.
  • Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
  • British, Danish, Turkish, Dutch, Indian and Chinese nationals were also killed in the attacks.
A relative of a victim of the explosion at St. Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade church reacts at the police mortuary in Colombo, April 21. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
Dinuka Liyanawatte | Reuters

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that several U.S. citizens were among those killed in a string of attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on the Easter holiday, blaming "radical terrorists" for the devastating blasts.

"The U.S. Embassy is working tirelessly to provide all possible assistance to the American citizens affected by the attacks and their families," Pompeo said.

More than 200 people were killed and 450 injured in a series of bomb blasts that hit churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. Some of the attacks were suicide bombs, authorities said.

"Attacks on 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, and demonstrate yet again the brutal nature of radical terrorists whose sole aim is to threaten peace and security," Pompeo said.

Sri Lankan security forces arrested seven people in a raid on a house in the capital hours after the attacks. Three police officers died in the raid.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

British, Danish, Turkish, Dutch, Indian and Chinese nationals were also killed in the attacks.

"We stand with the Sri Lankan government and people as they confront violent extremism and have offered our assistance as they work to bring the perpetrators to justice," Pompeo said.

President Donald Trump offered his condolences to the people of Sri Lanka and said the U.S. stands ready to help.

Here is the full statement from Pompeo:

The United States condemns in the strongest terms the terror attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter morning. Attacks on 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, and demonstrate yet again the brutal nature of radical terrorists whose sole aim is to threaten peace and security.

The United States offers our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those killed and wishes a quick recovery to all who were injured. While many details of the attacks are still emerging, we can confirm that several U.S. citizens were among those killed. The U.S. Embassy is working tirelessly to provide all possible assistance to the American citizens affected by the attacks and their families.

These vile attacks are a stark reminder of why the United States remains resolved in our fight to defeat terrorism. We stand with the Sri Lankan government and people as they confront violent extremism and have offered our assistance as they work to bring the perpetrators to justice.

-- Reuters contributed to this report