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Culprits of Easter attacks have foreign links — Sri Lankan PM

NEW DELHI, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Tuesday that investigators have obtained evidence that the culprits behind the Easter Sunday suicide bombings were linked to foreign elements.

In a press conference, Wickremesinghe said that the investigators have made headways in identifying the perpetrators of the deadly attacks on churches and luxury hotels in Colombo and other cities that killed 321 people and injured 500 others.

He also revealed that many leaders including US President Donald Trump, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, as well as leaders of Sweden and Russia have promised support and help during telephonic conversations soon after the attacks.

“We should seize this opportunity use their assistance to eradicate terrorism. Sri Lanka has entered the map of global terrorism with the ruthless attacks on Sunday. Therefore, we have to consider those who launched the attack as global terrorists and it is time brought about structural changes to face this terror situation,” he told the reporters. The prime minister further said that the authorities are investigating claims made by the global terror outfit ISIS (also known as IS or Daesh) that it was behind the attack.

However, he said the claim that the attacks were an act of retaliation for the killings at two mosques in New Zealand need to be confirmed.

This came in the backdrop of Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene’s statement that it was an act of retaliation for New Zealand shootings without citing any evidence.

The prime minister declined to give the exact number of people arrested so far and said some culprits were still on the run amid media reports that police arrested 40 suspects so far including a Syrian. He also sought the support of the people to defeat the main objectives of terrorists.

“The police and the security forces have been instructed to arrest the brains behind the suicide bombers. We request all ethnic and religious groups to unitedly support the government to eradicate this manifestation of global terrorism from the country,” he said.

Source: Kuwait News Agency

ANE