Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Easter Sunday bombings at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka which killed at least 321 people and wounded more than 500.
“The perpetrators of the attack that targeted nationals of the countries of the coalitions and Christians in Sri Lanka before yesterday are fighters from the Islamic State,” the message said, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
In a later statement, the group identified the seven suicide bombers by their noms de guerre (false name).
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s defence minister, Ruwan Wijewardene, said the deadly attacks were a response to the recent mass shooting of Muslim worshippers in Christchurch in New Zealand that killed 50 people last month.
A series of coordinated terrorist attacks rocked the country of Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.
The attacks took place as Christian worshippers attended services to mark the religious occasion of Jesus Christ’s resurrection and bombs were also detonated in a number of luxury hotels in the country. Some reports claimed bombs were detonated as holidaymakers queued for their breakfast.There were originally a total of eight blasts hitting four hotels and three churches, with the first taking place at around 8.45am on Easter Sunday (1.45pm AEST).
Two Australians, Manik Suriyaaratchi and her 10-year-old daughter Alexendria, were killed in the attacks.
“Deeply sad to report it has been confirmed two Australians were killed in the Sri Lankan Easter Sunday terrorist attack yesterday,” Scott Morrison tweeted on Monday evening. “The two Australians were from the same family and were living in Sri Lanka.”
The PM also confirmed other Australians had been caught up in the attacks.
“I can also confirm two other Australian citizens were injured in the attacks,” he added. “They have received medical treatment for their injuries and are recovering. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those who have passed away and the injured.”
I can also confirm two other Australian citizens were injured in the attacks. They have received medical treatment for their injuries and are recovering. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those who have passed away and the injured.
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) April 22, 2019