Deadly Sri Lanka Attacks ‘Retaliation for Christchurch’: Defense Minister

Sri Lanka’s Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said on Tuesday that the deadly Easter Sunday bombings were a direct retaliation for the Christ church attack in New Zealand.

“The preliminary investigations have revealed that what happened in Sri Lanka (on Sunday) was in retaliation for the attack against Muslims in Christchurch,” Ruwan Wijewardene told parliament.

On the 15th of April, an Australian man entered into two mosques in Christchurch city New Zealand during Friday prayers and shot dead 50 people.

A prominent Muslim organization in Sri Lanka said all perpetrators should be brought to justice, adding that it was ready to assist the victims of the blasts.

“We do not have information to make a comment about that [the accusations]. But as a community, we should have some introspection and see how these groups have come into being,” NM Ameen, the president of the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka, said.

“From what we know, it is a small radicalized Muslim organization that has caused these devastations. We do not have enough information to say it has global links,” Ameen told Al Jazeera.

Update on the investigation 25.04.2019

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesingh told CNN on Thursday that the countries intelligence agencies were monitoring the Easter Bombing. But due to the lack of sufficient evidence to put them in custody, no action was taken against them, said the PM.

He reiterated that the attackers were middle- and upper-middle class and had been educated abroad. He added that the profile of the suspected bombers was “surprising.”

Police raids several houses

In a separate development, the Sri Lankan police raided several houses connected to the terrorists.

Sri Lankan national police spokesman, Ruwan Gunasekera, tells CNN the country’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has raided 5 safe houses connected with terrorists in the following areas:

  • Negombo
  • Dehiwala
  • Sharikamulla, Panadura
  • Colpetty, Colombo 3
  • Wattala

The safe houses have now been sealed for forensic investigation.

Meanwhile, police say search operations have increased today and searches are currently underway across Colombo, including the set-up of roadblocks.

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