Security stepped up as flags flown at half mast for Sri Lanka victims

Union flags on Downing Street and Foreign Office Buildings will be flown at half mast today as a mark of respect for those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka over the weekend.

A series of suicide bombings in three high profile churches and three luxury hotels resulted in some 300 deaths, including several British nationals, according to the most recent reports Tuesday morning.

In response to the attacks, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office has updated its travel advice for the country to include details of the nationwide curfew and pending state of emergency. Other countries have issued stricter warnings.

The ABI has said that anyone injured in the attacks in Sri Lanka will be able to get help, treatment and make a claim in the usual way.

“If you are planning to visit an area where an attack has occurred, you should heed advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office…and, where necessary, talk to your travel agent, tour operator, airline or other transport provider. Travel insurance does not generally provide cover for customers changing their minds about a trip unless there is specific FCO advice to avoid the country, so anyone rethinking plans to go to Sri Lanka should speak to their tour operator or holiday firm in the first instance. If you change your travel arrangements, then your travel insurance can usually be transferred to cover the new destination,” it stated.

UK foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt said the country stands in solidarity with persecuted Christians around the world and with the government and people of Sri Lanka.

“I’m deeply shocked and saddened by the horrifying attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka today, and the tragic news of more than 200 people killed, including several British nationals.

“To target those gathered for the simple act of worship on Easter Sunday is unspeakably wicked. Everyone has a right to practice their faith in peace, safety and security but tragedies like this, and the one in Christchurch, remind us that there are some who hate these rights and freedoms."

The FCO's travel advice page for Sri Lanka can be found here.


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