South Asia

Sri Lanka's Muslims face persecution in wake of terror attacks

Muslims arrive for prayers at the Grand Mosque in the capital, Colombo. Photo: Chamila Karunarathne/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Sri Lanka’s Muslim minority is facing increased persecution in the wake of an Easter Sunday terror attack which left 258 dead.

The latest: President Maithripala Sirisena lamented growing religious and ethnic divisions yesterday, saying, "If we divide and fall apart, the whole country will stand to lose. Another war will break out.”

Sri Lanka minister: Bombings were in retaliation for New Zealand attacks

A Sri Lankan soldier stands guard near a car explosion after the police tried to defuse a bomb near St. Anthony's Shrine in Colombo on Monday.
A Sri Lankan soldier stands guard near St. Anthony's Shrine in Colombo. Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

A Sri Lankan official said Tuesday an initial investigation shows the Easter Sunday bombings were in retaliation for a terrorist attack on in New Zealand, Reuters and AFP first reported.

The latest: Police have arrested 40 suspects but no group has claimed responsibility for the church and hotel bombings, which killed 321 people. Sri Lanka's Junior Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardene told parliament they were carried out by 2 extremist groups, National Thawheed Jama’ut (NTJ) and Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim, in response to the March shootings inside 2 Christchurch mosques.