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'I have to blame myself' - American man describes losing son and daughter in Sri Lanka terrorist bombing

A UK-based American investment banker has recalled the harrowing moment he lost two of his children in one of the terrorist bombings in Sri Lanka over the weekend.

Matthew Linsey's children Amelie, 15, and Daniel, 19, were killed when one of seven suicide bombers struck the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo on Easter Sunday.

Matthew Linsey told CNN his children had been refilling their father's glass at a buffet when he felt "a wave of pressure" as the first bomb went off.

"They were both running toward me, and I'm not sure whether that's what killed them or not, and I knew there would be another bomb coming because there always is with these things," he said. "Another bomb went off."

His children were both unconscious when the second bomb went off near the elevator.

Mr Linsey said his first instinct was to get as far away from the scene as possible, but said: "Maybe I should have stayed and covered them with my body."

"My daughter seemed to be moving, my son wasn't. A woman offered to take my daughter downstairs and my son - someone helped me move him down the stairs. And they both ended up in the same hospital."

He said the hospital had "rudimentary facilities" but the staff attending to the blast victims were "very helpful."

"They did their best. A doctor there kindly took me to the US embassy. I was there eight hours. They got me out of the country and they were very, very efficient and very kind," Mr Linsey said. "I want that to be noted - it's really important."

He said while he wanted the Sri Lankan Government to "do what they have to do to stop these people," he ultimately blamed himself for going to the country.

"Yes, you want the Government to do what they have to do to stop these people. I agree with that completely, but also, people on the other side, you know, love is the answer, ultimately, and helping people and what is good is giving [to] Sri Lanka - helping the medical facilities there - money to help 'cause a lot of local people died and probably unnecessarily.

"My children - maybe they could have survived if there was the right medical facilities, but I took that risk going to that country, and I have to blame myself for that."

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    Matthew Linley’s daughter and son were running towards him in the Shangri-La Hotel when a bomb detonated. Source: CNN