New Zealand PM says no intelligence linking Sri Lanka attacks to Christchurch

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Wednesday that her government was not aware of any intelligence suggesting that a devastating attack on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka was in retaliation for deadly shootings on a mosques in Christchurch. Sri Lanka's junior minister for defence, Ruwan Wijewardene, told parliament on Tuesday that an initial investigation had revealed the bombings on churches and hotels, which killed 321 people, had been carried out in revenge for deadly shootings in two New Zealand mosques on March 15.

Reuters April 24, 2019 07:05:55 IST
New Zealand PM says no intelligence linking Sri Lanka attacks to Christchurch

New Zealand PM says no intelligence linking Sri Lanka attacks to Christchurch

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Wednesday that her government was not aware of any intelligence suggesting that a devastating attack on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka was in retaliation for deadly shootings on a mosques in Christchurch.

Sri Lanka's junior minister for defence, Ruwan Wijewardene, told parliament on Tuesday that an initial investigation had revealed the bombings on churches and hotels, which killed 321 people, had been carried out in revenge for deadly shootings in two New Zealand mosques on March 15.

Security experts and analysts, however, have questioned whether the coordinated bomb attacks could have been planned in such a short period.

"We haven't received anything officially nor have we received any intelligence reports that corroborate what has been said in Sri Lanka," Ardern told reporters at a press conference in Auckland.

"Sri Lanka will be in the very early stages of its investigations. So we are simply stepping back and allowing them to undertake those, but we have nothing at this stage to corroborate what is being said," she added.

Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the Sri Lanka attacks on Tuesday and named what it said were seven attackers who carried them out. It gave no further evidence to support its claim of responsibility.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told a news conference investigators were making progress in identifying the perpetrators and believed there could be some links to IS.

Sri Lanka's junior defence minister had earlier told parliament that two Sri Lankan Islamist groups - the National Thawheed Jama'ut and Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim - were responsible for the blasts early on Sunday during Easter services and as high-end hotels served breakfast.

He did not elaborate on why authorities believed there was a link to the killing of 50 Muslims at mosques in the NewZealand city of Christchurch during Friday prayers in March.

A lone gunman carried out those attacks, while livestreaming the massacre on Facebook.

(Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield and Praveen Menon; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Michael Perry)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

U.S. to double public climate finance to developing countries by 2024
World

U.S. to double public climate finance to developing countries by 2024

By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States said on Thursday it would boost public climate finance to help poor countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate, doubling funding by 2024 from high average levels hit during the Obama administration. The White House said it was embracing "ambitious but attainable goals" for international aid to developing countries, given the urgency of the climate crisis and to compensate for a sharp drop in U.S. funding during the Trump administration.

More risks to pregnant women, their newborns from COVID-19 than known before - study
World

More risks to pregnant women, their newborns from COVID-19 than known before - study

(Removes extraneous word 'while' in paragraph 3) (Reuters) -Pregnant women infected with COVID-19 and their newborn children face higher risks of complications than was previously known, a study by British scientists showed on Friday. An infection of the new coronavirus in such newborns is associated with a three-fold risk of severe medical complications, according to a study conducted by scientists at the University of Oxford. (https://bit.ly/3tNwkJ7) Pregnant women are at higher risk of complications such as premature birth, high blood pressure with organ failure risk, need for intensive care and possible death

Spain's left-wing leader, interior minister get death threat letters
World

Spain's left-wing leader, interior minister get death threat letters

MADRID (Reuters) -Anonymous death threat letters with bullets enclosed in the envelopes have been sent to two of Spain's top security officials and the leader of the hard-left Unidas Podemos party, officials said on Friday, adding police are investigating.