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23 Apr, 2019 08:57

Sri Lanka bombings ‘retaliation’ for New Zealand mosques massacre – minister

Sri Lanka bombings ‘retaliation’ for New Zealand mosques massacre – minister

The serial bombing of Christian churches and hotels in Sri Lanka may have been an act of retaliation for the gun rampage at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, a Sri Lankan minister said citing the initial investigation.

Two domestic Islamist groups, the National Thawheed Jama’ut and the Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim, are suspected by investigators of orchestrating the Easter Sunday bombings, which killed over 300 people, Ruwan Wijewardene, Sri Lanka’s junior defense minister, told MPs.

The initial investigation has revealed that this was in retaliation for the New Zealand mosque attack.

Wijewardene also confirmed the latest death toll from the violence, which currently stands at 321. There were 38 foreigners among the victims. The minister said more than 500 people were injured in the attacks.

Meanwhile, the UN’s body tasked with the protection of children, UNICEF, said there were 45 children among the victims of the terrorist spree.

Also on rt.com Terrorists ‘continue plotting attacks’ on Sri Lanka tourist spots, US State Dept warns

Earlier, the Sri Lankan government announced that domestic extremists were behind the bombings and said they had received help from “an international network” which was essential for the success of the terrorist attack.

The massacre in Christchurch happened in mid-March, when a self-described white supremacist gunned down 50 people in two mosques in the central part of the New Zealand city.

The perpetrator livestreamed the brutal attack in an apparent attempt to gain additional notoriety for his crimes.

Also on rt.com Facebook erased 1.5mn instances of NZ mosque attack video in 24 hours after massacre