SRI LANKA – World leaders have come out to condemn the heinous attack of terror targeting the Asian island country of Sri Lanka which has so far killed 290 people.
The Sri Lanka incidents which are already being ranked among the most deadliest terror attacks since the 9/11 twin bombings in the U.S, took place on Easter Sunday.
A wave of what appeared to be coordinated bomb blasts rocked three Christian churches and three luxury hotels which largely attract Western guests.
Police has so far arrested two dozen people in connection with the blasts. No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
In his Easter message, Pope Francis denounced the “cruel violence” saying he was praying for all those who are suffering from the bloodshed.
“May the one who gives us his peace end the roar of arms, both in areas of conflict and in our cities, and inspire the leaders of nations to work for an end to the arms race and the troubling spread of weaponry,” Pope Francis said from the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica.
“I want to express my loving closeness to the Christian community, targeted while they were gathered in prayer, and all the victims of such cruel violence,” the Pope added.
“I entrust to the Lord all those who were tragically killed and pray for the injured and all those who are suffering as a result of this dramatic event.”
U.K’s Prime Minister, Theresa May tweeted: “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 said “we must stand together to make sure that no one should ever have to practise their faith in fear”.
U.S President, Donald Trump extended “heartfelt condolences” to the families of those killed as well as the injured.
“The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka. We stand ready to help!” he said on Sunday.
The Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe, convened Sri Lanka’s top military officials at an emergency meeting of the national security council.
“I call upon all Sri Lankans during this tragic time to remain united and strong. Please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation. The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation,” Wickremesinghe said on Twitter.
Emmanuel Macron, the French President, condemned the “odious acts”.
“We are deeply saddened by the terrorist attacks against churches and hotels in Sri Lanka. We firmly condemn these odious acts,” Macron said on Twitter.
“We stand by the people of Sri Lanka and our thoughts go out to the loved ones of the victims on this Easter Sunday”.
In a similar tone of condemnation of what he called “heinous terror attack”, United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres said the UN “stands in solidarity with Sri Lanka as the global community fights hatred and violent extremism together”.
“Holy sites must be respected,” Guterres said.
At least 160 people who were left injured in a blast at St Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo had been admitted to the Colombo National hospital.
The main hospital in the eastern port city of Batticaloa had received more than 300 people with injuries following a blast at the Zion church.