Published: Wed, April 24, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

New Zealand 'has not seen' intelligence reports Sri Lanka bombings to Christchurch

New Zealand 'has not seen' intelligence reports Sri Lanka bombings to Christchurch

"The group's delay in claiming is also an unanswered variable", SITE Intelligence Group Director Rita Katz tweeted.

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.

Canada is home to roughly 150,000 people of Sri Lankan or mixed Sri Lankan descent, a lot of them in Ontario, according to 2016 figures from Statistics Canada.

Global Affairs Canada says in a travel advisory posted to its website that the situation in Sri Lanka remains volatile, with the risk of further attacks throughout the country. The spokesperson said that one of the warnings referred to National Tawheed Jamath, or NTJ, a little-known local Islamist group that defaced Buddhist statues in the past.

The attacks marked the most significant violence in the country since a bloody civil war ended 10 years ago.

Sri Lankans woke to emergency law and national mourning day today.

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President Maithripala Sirisena's office said there was intelligence that "international terror groups" were behind the local perpetrators and that he would seek foreign help to investigate.

On Tuesday afternoon, however, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told a press conference that the person depicted in the CCTV video was thought to be a suspect.

Known locally as "Little Rome", the seaside town of Negombo has dozens of churches and is at the centre of Sri Lanka's Catholic community.

The Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, said at least 110 people were killed at St Sebastian's, the deadliest of a series of attacks against churches and luxury hotels that left at least 310 people dead.

Theravada Buddhism is Sri Lanka's biggest religious group, making up about 70% of the population.

The attacks have sparked local and worldwide outrage, and have been condemned by Sri Lankan Muslim groups, with one urging the "maximum punishment for everyone involved in these dastardly acts".

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