23 April 2019

South Africa: SA Condemns Sri Lanka Bomb Attacks

President Cyril Ramaphosa has conveyed condolences to the government of Sri Lanka following a series of deadly terrorist bombings over the Easter weekend.

The wave of attacks started Sunday morning as explosions were reported from St. Anthony's Church in Kochchikade in capital Colombo and another from St. Sebastians Church in Negombo on the outskirts of the capital.

A third explosion was reported from Zion Church in Batticaloa in the east.

Explosions were also reported from three star-class hotels in Colombo while on Sunday afternoon, an explosion was reported from a hotel, opposite the zoo in Dehiwala in Colombo and another from a housing complex in Dematagoda, Colombo.

With the death toll at over 300 and the number of injured at more than 500, President Ramaphosa has wished those injured a speedy and full recovery.

The President reiterated South Africa's commitment to join hands in ending terrorist attacks.

"South Africa will continue to use its non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council to prioritise the fight against terrorism and extremist groups across the world," President Ramaphosa said on Monday.

Sri Lankans observed a three-minute silence this morning after President Maithripala Sirisena declared a state of emergency.

The government believes that National Towheed Jamaat was responsible for the attacks and investigations are ongoing to find out whether they had foreign links.

Sri Lanka's security forces have launched massive search operations to arrest all those involved. The police said so far 24 suspects had been arrested. - SAnews.gov.za-Xinhua

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