New Zealand responds to Sri Lanka terrorist attack’s alleged link with Christchurch shooting

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WELLINGTON, April 23 – New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s office said Tuesday New Zealand “has not yet seen any intelligence upon which such an assessment might be based”, in response to alleged links between Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka and the March 15 shooting in Christchurch.

Sri Lanka’s Minister of Defense, Ruwan Wijewardene told Parliament on Tuesday that initial investigations had revealed that Sunday’s explosions by a local extremist group was in retaliation to the Christchurch attacks in New Zealand.

He said the “National Tawheed Jamaat” were behind the attacks and further investigations were underway.

A spokesperson for Ardern said: “We have seen reports of the statement from the Sri Lankan minister of state for defence, alleging a link between the the Easter Sunday terrorist attack and the March 15 attack in Christchurch,” reported local media “Stuff”.

“We understand the Sri Lankan investigation into the attack is in its early stages. New Zealand has not yet seen any intelligence upon which such an assessment might be based.

“New Zealanders oppose terrorism and extreme violence in all its forms. In the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks, it was the condemnation of the perpetrators of violence and a message of peace that unified us all,” said the spokesperson.