April 21, 2019 / 9:58 AM / 4 months ago

Sri Lanka government declares curfew, shuts down access to major social media sites

Sri Lankan military stand guard in front of the St. Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade church after an explosion in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

COLOMBO (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan government declared a curfew with immediate effect, junior defense minister Ruwan Wijewardene

said on Sunday, following eight explosions that killed nearly 140 people, and mostly targeted churches and hotels.

“A curfew will be imposed until things settle down,” he told reporters in Colombo.

Government officials also said major social media networks and messaging apps, including Facebook and WhatsApp, have been blocked inside the country to prevent misinformation and rumors.

Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Martin Howell

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