(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – 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 mosques in Christchurch in March.
Sri Lanka’s junior minister for defense, Ruwan Wijewardene, told parliament on Tuesday that an initial investigation had revealed the bombings on churches and hotels, which killed 359 people, had been carried out in revenge for the deadly shootings in two New Zealand mosques on March 15.
“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.
“I absolutely understands that 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 said.
She said Sri Lanka’s attack is an extreme act of terrorism on its soil.
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.