London/Colombo, April 21
Countries from across the globe, including the US, the UK, Russia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh expressed shock and condemnation over the deadly blasts at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday that left over 200 people dead.
Dozens of foreign nationals were feared to have been killed in the near simultaneous blasts, which targeted Catholic church worshippers on Easter Sunday as well as luxury hotels in Colombo.
The blasts targeted St Anthony’s Church in Colombo, St Sebastian’s Church in the western coastal town of Negombo and another church in the eastern town of Batticaloa around 8.45 am (local time) as the Easter Sunday mass were in progress.
Three explosions were reported from the five-star hotels - the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury. Foreigners and locals who were injured in hotel blasts were admitted to the Colombo General Hospital.
US President Donald Trump on Sunday offered “heartfelt condolences” to the people of Sri Lanka.
“Heartfelt condolences from the people of the United States to the people of Sri Lanka on the horrible terrorist attacks on churches and hotels... We stand ready to help!,” Trump tweeted.
British Prime Minister Theresa May described the attacks as “truly appalling”.
“The acts of violence against churches and hotels in Sri Lanka are truly appalling, and my deepest sympathies go out to all of those affected at this tragic time,” she tweeted.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia was thinking of those killed in a “horrific terrorist attack”.
“To the beautiful people of Sri Lanka, Australia sends its heartfelt sympathies and our prayers and our support - and our offer to do whatever we can to support you in this terrible time of need,” he said in a statement.
A month after dozens of Muslims were killed in a shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the attack as “devastating”.
“New Zealand condemns all acts of terrorism, and our resolve has only been strengthened by the attack on our soil on the 15th of March. To see an attack in Sri Lanka while people were in churches and at hotels is devastating”.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan also strongly condemned the barbaric attacks.
“Strongly condemn the horrific terrorist attack in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday resulting in precious lives lost & hundreds injured. My profound condolences go to our Sri Lankan brethren. Pakistan stands in complete solidarity with Sri Lanka in their hour of grief,” he tweeted.
Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli condemned the “heinous” terror attacks and extended condolences to the people of Sri Lanka.
“I am deeply saddened by multiple bomb blasts and killings of innocent people in Sri Lanka. I express my condolence to Ranil Wickramasinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and bereaved families of victims of the brutality,” Oli said in a tweet while wishing speedy recovery to the injured people.
Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed her deep concerns over the explosions which took place on Sunday morning.
In the message, she prayed for peace and salvation of the departed souls and offered her condolences to the grieving families.
Hasina also hoped for a quick recovery of the injured.
European leaders are expressing horror at the attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier wrote in a message to his Sri Lankan counterpart that he was “stunned and horrified” by the “cowardly terror attacks.”
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz wrote on Twitter that he was “deeply shaken and concerned by (the) devious terrorist attacks.”
German Chancellor Angel Merkel said: “Terrorism, religious hatred and intolerance cannot be allowed to win.” “We’re horrified by the news that Christians in Sri Lanka were attacked and killed during Easter services,” wrote Merkel’s spokesperson on Twitter. “We mourn them and pray for the injured and their family members.”
Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the attacks “an assault on all of humanity”.
Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates all issued statements via their foreign ministries condemning the attack. PTI
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