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'Attackers Most Likely Trained Abroad': Sri Lanka Minister Hints at Multiple Hands Behind Easter Attack

The death toll from a wave of bombings across Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday increased to 290 on Monday as authorities arrested 24 people in connection with the attacks.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:April 22, 2019, 10:03 PM IST
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'Attackers Most Likely Trained Abroad': Sri Lanka Minister Hints at Multiple Hands Behind Easter Attack
A view of St. Sebastian's Church damaged in blast in Negombo. (Image: AP)

Kolkata: The deadly attacks on Easter Sunday could be an act of revenge for those killed in New Zealand's Christchurch mosque shootings during Friday prayer last month, Sri Lanka's Minister of State for Internal and Home Affairs JC Alawathuwala said.

Speaking exclusively to News18 over telephone from Colombo, Alawathuwala said, "We have detained few youths in connection with the blasts. They are mainly from Panapura (Province of Sabaragamuwa in Sri Lanka) and Dematagoda (suburb in Colombo). Primary leads tell us that it could be an act of revenge for Christchurch mosque attack, where the gunman live-streamed the shootings."

"Our CID team is looking into various angles. Apparently, the suicide bombers were trained abroad. The suicide bombers and those who were detained belong to middle-class, educated families. All of them were young Sri Lankans. Most of them were living in a rented accommodation in suburbs, including Panapura and Dematagoda area," he added.

When asked if they could have been trained in Pakistan or Bangladesh, the minister said, "I will not be able to reveal anything now but there is a foreign link behind their training."

"As of now they (National Thawheed Jamaat) are emerging as strong suspect in the case. But it may be a part of larger conspiracy. It seems more foreign elements are involved here," he said.

Recently, the ISIS had called on followers to 'take revenge' for New Zealand terror attack.

The death toll from a wave of bombings across Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday increased to 290 on Monday as authorities arrested 24 people in connection with the attacks.

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| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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