Sunday, August 18, 2019 | ePaper
Probe shows Sri Lanka attacks 'retaliation for Christchurch': Govt
The first memorial services for the victims were being held as Sri Lanka observed a three minute silence and flags were lowered to half mast.
Islamist suicide bombings that killed more than 300 people in Sri Lanka at the weekend were carried out in revenge for last month's attacks on two mosques in New Zealand, the government said Tuesday, citing an initial police probe.
The revelation came as the death toll in the Easter Sunday bomb attacks on churches and high-end hotels rose to 321, with hundreds more wounded and still in hospital.
"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.
Fifty people were shot dead on March 15 at two mosques in the New Zealand city by an avowed white nationalist. Wijewardene said the group behind the Sri Lanka bombings was the little-known National Thowheeth Jama'ath (NTJ), an extremist Islamist group previously blamed for defacing Buddhist statues.
Police have detained at least 40 people as they investigate the worst act of violence in the country since a civil war ended a decade ago.
On Tuesday, grieving Sri Lankans began to bury their dead and the country was observing a day of national mourning.