ISIS Claims Responsibility for Easter Bombings in Sri Lanka
04/23/2019 Sri Lanka (International Christians Concern) – ISIS has claimed responsibility for the deadly Easter bombings in Sri Lanka that left more than 300 people dead and hundreds more injured. ISIS released its claim shortly after Sri Lanka’s defense minister claimed the attacks were a “retaliation” for the mosque attacks in New Zealand that left 50 dead in March.
On April 21, Easter Sunday, suicide bombers attacked three churches and three hotels across Sri Lanka. The latest reports claim that the bombings killed 321 people and left more than 500 others injured.
In a statement by its Amaq propaganda agency, ISIS claimed it was targeting citizens of countries bombing its territories and Christians. Experts believe, based on the wording of ISIS’s claim, that the group was not directly involved in the attacks but had inspired the attackers.
Sri Lankan government officials have accused a local Islamist group named National Thowheed Jamaath of carrying out Sunday’s deadly bombings. Prior to Sunday, the little-known group had been known for vandalizing Buddhist statues and spreading hate speech in Sri Lanka.
According to the Independent, Sri Lanka’s Christian minority have been left reeling by the bombings. “Some people might be afraid to go to church now,” Father Lour Fernando told AFP by St. Sebastian’s Church, one of the three churches attacked on Sunday. “At this moment I have no idea what to say. We have to remain strong and keep going to church and keep praying. We can’t stop.”
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