Sri Lanka attacks could be revenge for New Zealand mosque shootings

Sunday’s terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka could be revenge for the March 15 mosque shootings in New Zealand, RISS expert Elena Suponina told TASS.

"These attacks are related not only to the situation in Sri Lanka and South Asia, but also to the calls for a global jihad we hear from ideologists and terrorist organizations," she said. "Perhaps, terrorists sought to deteriorate the situation in Sri Lanka and at the same time take revenge for the New Zealand attacks. So, it is link in a chain, and in my view, such attacks may recur in the near future," the expert added.

According to Suponina, jihadists chose the time for the terrorist attacks after having detected a loophole in the security system. She pointed out that in late 2018, extremists had tried to attack sacred Buddhist sites but the country’s law enforcement agencies had thwarted their attempts.

In addition, in the expert’s opinion, it is easier for extremists to carry out attacks on religious holidays. "On such days, people gather in many places and terrorist attacks on sacred sites always receive a wide response, which is what extremists are after," Suponina explained.

On April 21, a series of terrorist attacks, unprecedented in the country’s history, took place in Sri Lanka. A total of eight explosions occurred in high-end hotels and churches in the cities of Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa during Easter services. According to recent data, the attacks claimed 290 lives, including more than 30 foreign nationals. The country’s authorities have confirmed that the explosions were carried out by suicide bombers who were Sri Lankan nationals. On Monday, an explosives-filled van exploded outside a church in Colombo while experts were trying to defuse it.

On March 15, shooters opened fire in two mosques in New Zealand’s city of Christchurch, killing 50 and leaving another 50 wounded.

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