45 children dead: Islamic state claims responsibility for Sri Lanka bombing

Forty-five children have died in the terror attack (Photo: Courtesy)

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for coordinated bombings in Sri Lanka which killed 321 people and injured about 500 others, the group’s AMAQ news agency said on Tuesday.

Forty-five children have died in the terror attack in Sri Lanka, it has today been confirmed.

UNICEF says the death toll of infants in the country is rising after the bombings.

Christophe Boulierac, Charity spokesman, said many of these victims were on holiday with their family.

Among the youngsters killed are tragic Brits Annabel and Alex Nicholson, who died with their mum Anita.

And Rangana Fernando, his wife Danadiri, their six-year-old daughter Biola, four-year-old daughter Leona and 11-month-old son Seth were also all killed in the attack.

Hotels and churches were targeted in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.

The total death toll has already exceeded 300.

The investigation into the atrocity today found the bombings were carried out by local Islamist extremists in retaliation for the deadly mosque attacks in New Zealand.

Sri Lanka's state minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene told parliament: "The initial investigation has revealed that this was in retaliation for the New Zealand mosque attack.

"It was done by National Thowfeek Jamaath along with JMI (Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim)."

The total death toll has already exceeded 300 (Photo: Courtesy)

Amid fears of further attacks, Sri Lanka's national police force has told its officers to be on the lookout for vehicles that could be used in suicide blasts, including a lorry and a van believed to be packed with explosives.

A British father has lost his entire family in the attack.

Ben Nicholson was on holiday with his wife Anita, 42, son Alex, 11, and young daughter Annabel, who have been confirmed dead.

He was seen walking the streets covered in blood after the atrocity, according to a medic at the emergency triage department in the National Hospital in Colombo.