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Sri Lanka bomb blasts: Islamic State fighters carried out explosions that killed 321 and injured over 500, claim security sources

Two days after coordinated bombings at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka claimed at least 321 lives and left over 500 injured, security sources claimed that those who conducted the attack are Islamic State (IS) fighters.

According to security sources, the terrorist group's Amaq news agency made the claim even though it did not give any evidence for it.

The statement release by Amaq, according to security sources, read: "Those that carried out the attack that targeted members of the US-led coalition and Christians in Sri Lanka the day before yesterday are Islamic State group fighters."

 Sri Lanka bomb blasts: Islamic State fighters carried out explosions that killed 321 and injured over 500, claim security sources

Security personnel and investigators at St Sebastian's Church in Katuwapitiya, Negambo. A Gamage/101Reporters

Earlier in the day, Sri Lanka's defence minister Ruwan Wijewardene had said that the bombings were in "retaliation" to the New Zealand mosque attacks on 15 March in which 50 people were killed.

"The preliminary investigations have revealed that what happened in Sri Lanka (on Sunday) was in retaliation for the attack against Muslims in Christchurch," Wijewardene had told the parliament.

The six  attacks on three churches and three luxury hotels and three related blasts later on Sunday was Sri Lanka's deadliest violence in a decade.

The United Nations, in the meanwhile, has issued a statement saying that at least 45 children were among those killed.

UNICEF spokesman Christophe Boulierac was quoted by AFP  as saying that the toll from Sunday's attack could rise as many other minors "are wounded and are now fighting for their lives in intensive care units across the country."

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Apr 23, 2019 18:19:38 IST