On Easter Sunday, bombs ripped through several churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, killing 290 people, and injuring another 500.
Sri Lankan authorities are claiming that the attacks were carried out by a local jihadist group, National Thowheed Jamath, though they have not officially claimed credit for the attacks. However, authorities also believe that they had international help.
“We do not believe these attacks were carried out by a group of people who were confined to this country,” cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said. “There was an international network without which these attacks could not have succeeded.”
Twenty-four people have been arrested in connection with the attacks.
Locally, the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans and the Anti Defamation League – South Central Region issued a joint statement on the terror attacks, saying:
The Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans and the ADL South Central Region are horrified by the Easter morning terror attacks across Sri Lanka, in which coordinated bombings, including suicide bombings, ripped through churches, hotels, a banquet hall, and a highway flyover in the cities of Colombo, Negombo, and Batticaloa.
Three churches were targeted as worshipers gathered to mark Easter – we are heartbroken and angered, as a place of worship should always be a place of peace and welcome. We pray for the victims and their loved ones, and for the recovery of all those injured. As with Charleston, Christchurch, and Pittsburgh, we are sickened by the violent impact of intolerant rhetoric and hate.
We send our condolences to all in Sri Lanka, with a special prayer this Passover and Paschal season for peace and solidarity.
Jenn Bentley is a writer and editor originally from Cadiz, Kentucky. Her writing has been featured in publications such as The Examiner, The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, and others. When she’s not writing or editing, Jenn spends her time raising money for Extra Life and advocating for autism acceptance.