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NZ seen no evidence of link between Sri Lanka bombings and Christchurch terrorist attack

New Zealand has not seen any intelligence suggesting the deadly Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka are linked with the March 15 Christchurch terrorist attack.

This comes after claims from Sri Lanka’s defence minister who said the bombings were a retaliation to the March 15 shootings.

The near-simultaneous bombings on Sunday at three churches and three luxury hotels, as well as three other related blasts, left 321 dead and 500 wounded, representing Sri Lanka's deadliest violence in a decade.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Jacinda 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.

“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."

New Zealand was responding to comments in the Sri Lankan Parliament by Ruwan Wijewardene, the state minister of defence.

He said the government had evidence that the bombings were carried out "by an Islamic fundamentalist group" in retaliation for the mosque shootings on March 15 that killed 50 people, although he did not disclose what the evidence was.

- with AP

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    Sri Lanka’s Defence Minister had claimed the bombings were in retaliation for the March 15 shootings. Source: Breakfast