A MUM and her son are among nearly 300 people killed in the Sri Lankan Easter massacre.

Anita Nicholson, 42, and her son Alex, 11, from Grays, were having breakfast on the second-floor restaurant of the Shangi-La hotel when the attackers struck.


Devastation - the Shangi-La hotel. Picture: PA

Husband Ben Nicholson is understood to have survived the blast but the couple’s daughter, Annabel, continues to be unaccounted for.

According to her LinkedIn profile, Mrs Nicholson was based in Singapore as managing counsel at the mining and metals company Anglo American.

Both Ben and Anita went to Palmer’s College, in Grays.

Police and security services in Sri Lanka are continuing to investigate the attacks which killed nearly 300 people including eight Britons.

A series of blasts, thought to be the work of suicide bombers, ripped through churches and luxury hotels on Easter Sunday.

The bombings are being treated as a terrorist attack by religious extremists and police have arrested 13 but there was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said there was “lots of speculation at the moment but there is no hard knowledge” about the perpetrators of the atrocity and “we obviously need to wait for the police in Sri Lanka to do their work”.

He said the UK would offer Sri Lanka support in the days to come. One line of inquiry will be asking what intelligence services knew about the attack, with Minister for Telecommunications Harin Fernando tweeting: “Some intelligence officers were aware of this incidence (sic).

“Therefore there was a delay in action. What my father heard was also from an intelligence officer. Serious action need to be taken as to why this warning was ignored.”

In Colombo, St Anthony’s Shrine and the Cinnamon Grand, Shangri-La and Kingsbury hotels were targeted in the first wave of explosions shortly before 9am local time as worshippers attended morning services.