Colombo: A total of 176 children have lost either one or both of their parents during the Easter Sunday attacks that killed 258 people, a media report quoted the head of Sri Lanka's Catholic Church as saying.
A total of 7 suicide bombers carried out a series blasts that targeted three churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on April 21. The attacks injured 500 people.
"One hundred and seventy six children have lost either both or one of their parents in the bombings that took place on April 21. The church is focusing on these groups to help them recover and return to normalcy," Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror on Monday.
He made these comments on his visit to Rome last week.
He said the church will not concentrate on the renovation of churches damaged in the blasts as the government has undertaken that task.
The blasts targeted St Anthony's Church in Colombo, St Sebastian's Church in the western coastal town of Negombo and another church in the eastern town of Batticaloa around 8.45 am (local time) as the Easter Sunday mass were in progress.
The Lankan government announced that all the damaged churches will be completely repaired by the government.
He said that during his visit, he briefed Pope Francis about what happened and what the church was doing to rebuild the lives of those affected by the carnage.
"I provided the Pope with DVDs on the Easter Sunday attacks," the Cardinal said.