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Early investigation: Sri Lanka attack ‘retaliation’ for NZ massacre

April 24, 2019 7:36 am

A Sri Lanka official says initial investigation shows Easter Sunday bombings were a retaliation against New Zealand mosque attack.

A series of coordinated blasts in churches and hotels hit Sri Lanka on Sunday leaving 321 people dead and 500 injured.

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The Sri Lankan Junior Defense Minister says initial investigation has revealed the attacks were carried out by two local Muslim group called the National Thawheed Jama’ut along with Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim.

However, the Associated Press claims these statements about retaliation were made without evidence or an explanation of where the information came from.

A spokesperson for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says they understand the Sri Lankan investigation into the attack is in its early stages and New Zealand has not yet seen any intelligence upon which such an assessment might be based.

Men carry dead bodies towards ambulances near the St. Anthony’s Shrine, Kochchikade church after an explosion in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

Meanwhile, Islamic State has now claimed responsibility for the bombings in Sri Lanka.

The news agency for the jihadist group, Amaq, has made the claim – but has not provided evidence supporting its involvement.

Relatives of victims react at a police mortuary, after bomb blasts ripped through churches and luxury hotels on Easter, in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Sri Lankan police detained a Syrian among 40 people being questioned about the Easter Sunday attacks, according to Reuters.

Tuesday was declared a national day of mourning and the funerals of some of the victims were held as pressure mounted on the government over why effective action had not been taken in response to a warning this month about a possible attack on churches by a little-known domestic Islamist group.

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