Sri Lanka bomb attacks were revenge for N.Zealand mosque killings - minister

SRI LANKA-ATTACKS

CCTV showing one of the suspected suicide bombers entering a St. Sebastian church in Negombo, Sri Lanka moments before a deadly blast. Footage shows a suspect with a backpack making his way through crowds and into the church.

Sri Lanka's Easter Sunday bomb attacks are believed to be retaliation for a recent attack on mosques in New Zealand, a Sri Lankan official said on Tuesday, adding that two domestic Islamist groups were believed to be responsible.

"The initial investigation has revealed that this was in retaliation for the New Zealand mosque attack," junior minister for defence Ruwan Wijewardene told parliament.

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Sri Lanka terror attacks
A man mourns at a grave of a victim, two days after a string of suicide bomb attacks on churches and luxury hotels across the island on Easter Sunday, at Sellakanda Catholic cemetery in Negombo, Sri Lanka April 23, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Grief has rung out through Sri Lanka in the wake of the deadly attacks (AFP Photo/ISHARA S. KODIKARA)
Two women mourn during a funeral service for bomb blast victims at St Sebastian's Church in Negombo on April 23, 2019, two days after a series of bomb attacks targeting churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka. - Sri Lanka began a day of national mourning on April 23 with three minutes of silence to honour more than 300 people killed in suicide bomb blasts that have been blamed on a local Islamist group. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP) (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman cries at a service for bomb blast victims at St Sebastian's Church in Negombo on April 23, 2019, two days after a series of bomb attacks targeting churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka. - Sri Lanka began a day of national mourning on April 23 with three minutes of silence to honour more than 300 people killed in suicide bomb blasts that have been blamed on a local Islamist group. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE - This Sunday, April 21, 2019, file photo shows the inside of St. Sebastian's Church damaged in blast in Negombo, north of Colombo, Sri Lanka. The deadly Easter attacks in Sri Lanka are a bloody echo of decades past in the South Asian island nation, when militants inspired by attacks in the Lebanese civil war helped develop the suicide bomb vest. (AP Photo/Chamila Karunarathne, File)
A Sri Lankan roman catholic woman prays during a three minute nationwide silence observe to pay homage to the victims of Easter Sunday's blasts outside St. Anthony's Shrine in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, April 23, 2019. A state of emergency has taken effect giving the Sri Lankan military war-time powers not used since civil war ended in 2009. Police arrested 40 suspects, including the driver of a van allegedly used by suicide bombers involved in deadly Easter bombings. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
ISIS claims responsibility for Sri Lanka Easter bombings that killed over 300 (ABC News)
A man mourns at a grave of a victim, two days after a string of suicide bomb attacks on churches and luxury hotels across the island on Easter Sunday, at Sellakanda Catholic cemetery in Negombo, Sri Lanka April 23, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
ADDS THE NAME OF CHURCH - Sri Lankan Army soldiers secure the area around St. Anthony's Shrine after a blast in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, April 21, 2019. Witnesses are reporting two explosions have hit two churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, causing casualties among worshippers. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has called a national security council meeting at his house and 200 troops have been deployed to carry out the rescue operation.
Officials say at least two of the blasts were caused by suicide bombers.
Condolences poured in from journalists, cricketers and the film fraternity tweeting condemnation of the attack.
Officials say at least two of the blasts were caused by suicide bombers.
Sri Lanka blasts
Explosions struck hotels and churches.
Todas las explosiones ocurrieron hacia las 8.45 horas (2.30 GMT), en al menos tres hoteles de lujo en Colombo y también en un iglesia de la capital, otra en Katana, en el oeste del país, y la tercera en Batticaloa, en el este de la isla. EFETodas las explosiones ocurrieron hacia las 8.45 horas (2.30 GMT), en al menos tres hoteles de lujo en Colombo y también en un iglesia de la capital, otra en Katana, en el oeste del país, y la tercera en Batticaloa, en el este de la isla. EFETodas las explosiones ocurrieron hacia las 8.45 horas (2.30 GMT), en al menos tres hoteles de lujo en Colombo y también en un iglesia de la capital, otra en Katana, en el oeste del país, y la tercera en Batticaloa, en el este de la isla. EFE
Atentados en Sri Lanka
COLOMBO, SRI LANKA - APRIL 21: An inside view of the St. Anthony's Shrine after an explosion hit St Anthony's Church in Kochchikade in Colombo, Sri Lanka on April 21, 2019. According to reports at least 129 people killed and over 200 injured in blasts during the Easter Sunday service at churches and hotels as worshippers attended Easter services. (Photo by Chamila Karunarathne/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Sri Lankan police stand at the site of an explosion in a restaurant area of the luxury Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo on April 21, 2019. - At least 42 people were killed April 21 in a string of blasts at hotels and churches in Sri Lanka as worshippers attended Easter services, a police official told AFP. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)
Atentados en Sri Lanka
Priests walk into the St. Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade church after an explosion in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
A shoe of a victim is seen in front of the St. Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade church after an explosion in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Sri Lankan police stand at the site of an explosion in a restaurant area of the luxury Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo on April 21, 2019. - At least 42 people were killed April 21 in a string of blasts at hotels and churches in Sri Lanka as worshippers attended Easter services, a police official told AFP. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)
COLOMBO, SRI LANKA - APRIL 21: An inside view of the St. Anthony's Shrine after an explosion hit St Anthony's Church in Kochchikade in Colombo, Sri Lanka on April 21, 2019. According to reports at least 129 people killed and over 200 injured in blasts during the Easter Sunday service at churches and hotels as worshippers attended Easter services. (Photo by Chamila Karunarathne/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Sri Lankan military officers stand guard in front of the St Anthony's Church where an explosion took place in Kochchikade, Colombo, Sri Lanka, on April 21, 2019.- At least 137 people were killed in Sri Lanka on April 21, police sources told AFP, when a string of blasts ripped through high-end hotels and churches as worshippers attended Easter services. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Sri Lankan police stand at the site of an explosion in a restaurant area of the luxury Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo on April 21, 2019. - At least 42 people were killed April 21 in a string of blasts at hotels and churches in Sri Lanka as worshippers attended Easter services, a police official told AFP. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)
COLOMBO, SRI LANKA - APRIL 21: Security forces secure the area around the St. Anthony's Shrine after an explosion hit St Anthony's Church in Kochchikade in Colombo, Sri Lanka on April 21, 2019. According to reports at least 129 people killed and over 200 injured in blasts during the Easter Sunday service at churches and hotels as worshippers attended Easter services. (Photo by Chamila Karunarathne/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Ambulances are seen outside the church premises with gathered people and security personnel following a blast at the St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade, Colombo on April 21, 2019. - At least 42 people were killed April 21 in a string of blasts at hotels and churches as worshippers attended Easter services, a police official told AFP. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)
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"It was done by National Thawheed Jama'ut along with JMI," he said, referring to another local group, Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim.

At least 290 people were killed in the explosions and more than 500 were wounded.

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