That was followed minutes later by an eighth blast, carried out by a suicide bomber, in a northern neighborhood of Colombo, which killed three police officers, Sri Lankan officials said.
Leaders from around the world voiced support for the Sri Lankan government and nation following a series of deadly bombing attacks throughout the country on Easter Sunday that left over 207 people killed and hundreds wounded. "Jewish communities stand in solidarity with our Christian friends in Sri Lanka terror attack rejecting hatred and violence wherever it occurs".
Police report that three Colombo hotels favored by tourists, Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury, were hit.
The Association of Churches in Israel expressed shock following several bombings at the three churches in Sri Lanka. He said a number of injured were carried in ambulances.
The blasts reportedly happened at churches in Kochchikade, Negombo and Batticaloa and targeted worshippers as they attended Easter services.
There are now 115 Kiwis registered as being in Sri Lanka, said a spokesperson for New Zealand's Minsitry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The foreign minister said at least 27 foreigners were among those killed.
Buddhism is the dominant religion of Sri Lanka, being practiced by around 70 percent of the population. Loose wires hung down and tables were overturned in the blackened space.
"I saw many body parts strewn all over", he tweeted, adding that there were "many casualties including foreigners".
"Having experienced the open and welcoming Sri Lanka during my last week traveling through the country, I had a sense that the country was turning the corner, and in particular those in the tourism industry were hopeful for the future", said Peter Kelson, a technology manager from Sydney.
"He came up to the top of the queue and set off the blast", he said. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.
The country remains deeply scarred by its 1983-2009 civil war, when Tamil rebels fought to create an independent homeland.
Pakistan's Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari also condemned the attacks and said terrorism needed a strong united global approach to be effectively defeated worldwide.
St. Sebastian's posted pictures of destruction inside the church on its Facebook page, showing blood on pews and the floor, and requested help from the public.