ISIS claimed responsibility for the Sri Lanka bombings that as of April 23rd have left at least 321 people dead.
The announcement was made through ISIS’ ‘Amaq News Agency.
— Michael Krona (@GlobalMedia_) April 23, 2019
No evidence to back up the claim was provided.
CCTV footage emerged showing a suspected suicide bomber entering St Sebastian’s church in Negombo, where at least 110 people were killed, moments before the attack.
An 8-year-old boy, one of 45 children that died in the attack was related to Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Sri Lanka’s Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardene told parliament that the attack was a response to the attack against Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand, according to preliminary investigations.
Christchurch was mentioned in the confidential briefing note passed around to some in the Sri Lankan government. One suspect had started updating his SM accounts "with extremist content" in aftermath of the shootings https://t.co/7Mi7Nq4uMm
— michael safi (@safimichael) April 23, 2019
“The preliminary investigations have revealed that what happened in Sri Lanka was in retaliation for the attack against Muslims in Christchurch,” he said.
The Guardian cited terrorism researchers, according to whom the sophisticated nature of the attack and the equipment used would likely have required months of preparation, including conditioning the suicide bombers and testing the explosives.
As of April 23rd, 40 suspects were arrested in connection to the attacks.
April 23rd was also the National Day of Mourning, some of the dead were given funerals.
Also on the same day, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe addressed parliament regarding the attacks. He said investigators have made good progress identifying suspects, adding that some of the bombers had travelled abroad and then returned home. Police are investigating who they might have met while abroad.
The prime minister said all those arrested so far are Sri Lankan nationals – and there is no Syrian in custody, despite earlier rumors.
He provided no comment on whether the attack was in response to the Christchurch shooting. He did admit that it was a line of enquiry that was being pursued.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena appointed a 3-member Special Council to inquire into the attacks.
The Council comprises of Supreme Court Justice Vijith Malalgoda, former Ministerial Secretary, Padmasiri Jayamanna and former Inspector General, N K Ilangakoon. He instructed the Council to study the background, the reasons and any other factions as to why the attacks happened.
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