‘Not yet seen’ intel linking Sri Lanka bombings to Christchurch: NZealand

Photo: AFP

Wellington: New Zealand has “not yet seen” any intelligence reports linking the deadly bombings in Sri Lanka to last month’s mosque massacre in Christchurch, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s office said late Tuesday.

A Sri Lankan official earlier Tuesday said “preliminary investigations” had found that the bombings on Sunday, which left more than 300 dead, were “in retaliation for the attack against Muslims in Christchurch.”

The March 15 shooting rampage on two Christchurch mosques killed 50 Muslims. A self-proclaimed white nationalist has been charged with the attack.

A spokesperson for Ardern said the government had seen reports of the statement by Sri Lanka’s Minister of state for defence alleging the link between the Easter Sunday attack and Christchurch.

“We understand the Sri Lankan investigation into the attack is in its early stages,” the spokesperson said. “New Zealand has not yet seen any intelligence upon which such an assessment might be based.”

“New Zealanders oppose terrorism and extreme violence in all its forms. In the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks, it was the condemnation of the perpetrators of violence and a message of peace that unified us all,” they said.

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