A BRITISH mum and her two children are feared to be among at least 207 killed by suicide bombers in Sri Lanka yesterday.
Anita Nicholson, 42, son Alex and daughter Annabel were in a breakfast queue when a blast devastated their hotel. Husband Ben survived the attack, one of eight bombings.
Shocked witnesses to the Sri Lanka atrocity told of the carnage as fanatics detonated suicide bombs in busy hotels and churches packed with Easter Sunday worshippers.
The terrorists set off six bombs simultaneously just before 9am then two more as they fled police, killing at least 207 peoeple and injuring a further 450.
A shopkeeper who ran into one of the bombed churches to help victims said: “There was a river of blood. Ash was falling like snow.”
Sri Lanka Defence Secretary Harsha de Silva said: “Horrible scenes, I saw many body parts strewn all over.”
At least five Britons are among those confirmed dead but it is feared the toll will rise.
A number of bodies are still unidentified and last night a total of nine foreigners were known to be missing. A further 25 bodies who are believed to possibly be foreigners are yet to be identified.
British lawyer Anita Nicholson, 42, and her children Alex and Annabel are thought to have died as they queued for breakfast in the Shangri-La hotel in capital Colombo.
It is believed that a terrorist joined the food queue before detonating his bomb as he was about to be served.
Anita’s husband Ben survived the attack and desperately searched the wreckage for his family.
A message on social media suggested Alex was initially listed as missing after his mum and sister were identified among the fatalities.
Friends of Alex posted a picture of him and said: “Please help us find him. He was at Shangri-La. His mother and sister died and now his father is frantically looking for him.”
But Rohan Amarasekera, manager of Sri Lankan holiday specialist Andrew The Travel Company, later said Alex had died.
‘PLEASE HELP US’
He added: “Alex has passed away, our sympathies. His body has been identified. His dad is OK, but his mum has passed away also.”
Ben, also a lawyer, suffered injuries that are not life-threatening.
The terrorists targeted three Colombo hotels popular with foreigners, the Shangri-La, the Kingsbury and the Cinnamon Grand.
Bombs were detonated in the dining area as guests had breakfast. Security camera footage showed two men detonating devices in Shangri-La’s Table One restaurant and a hotel corridor.
BLASTS HIT PARADISE
The terrorists, believed to be religious fanatics, also struck at three churches as worshippers took mass. More than 50 died at the Catholic St Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo.
Around 25 more were also killed at the Zion Church, in Batticaloa, around 300km from Colombo.
There were many more deaths at St Sebastian’s in Negombo, a town, north of Colombo. Father Edmond Tillekeratne described seeing around 30 dead bodies.