A top Sri Lankan official said Tuesday that the rash of bombings that killed more than 300 people in churches and hotels in the nation’s capital on Sunday were intended as “retaliation” for the recent mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand.
“The preliminary investigations have revealed that what happened in Sri Lanka was in retaliation for the attack against Muslims in Christchurch,” state minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene told parliament. Wijewardene did not explain what led him to that conclusion.
Fifty people were gunned down at two mosques in Christchurch on March 15 by a white supremacist who live-streamed the massacre online.
321 people were killed and more than 200 were injured in a series of eight bombings that tore through Catholic churches and luxury hotels on Easter morning in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo.
A local Islamist group, National Thowfeek Jamaath (NTJ), carried out the attack with the help of an “international network” of fellow Islamic terrorists, officials said Monday. The Islamic State also claimed credit for the attack via their propaganda network, Amaq.
The Sri Lankan intelligence services were warned on April 11 that suicide bombers were planning to attack “prominent churches” but failed to take the proper precautions.