Sri Lanka’s Defense Minister, Ruwan Wijewardana, has been quoted as saying that the Easter Sunday multiple bomb attacks across the country that killed 321 people, were retaliation for New Zealand’s Christchurch killings in March.
Addressing parliament today, Wijewardana said Islamic extremists carried out Sunday’s coordinated attacks in retaliation for a March attack on two mosques in New Zealand.
He said initial investigations showed “the chain of bombings” was carried out by “a radical Islam group” which he named as the National Tawheed Jamath (NTJ).
No group has yet claimed responsibility.
Last month’s mosque attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, saw at least 50 people murdered in a shooting rampage by a white supremacist. The rampage began at lunchtime on a Friday, when mosques were full of worshippers.
Easter Sunday’s attack in Sri Lanka saw the bombing of several churxhes and five star hotels leaving 321 people including foreigners dead and hundreds more injured. Authorities have arrested 40 suspects following the declaration of a state of emergency.
Tuesday has been declared a national day of mourning.
Investigations say some government officials had been warned of a threat days before the attack. Authorities are investigating the attacks with assistance from global agencies like Interpol and the FBI.