World leaders have condemned a series of blasts in Sri Lanka that killed more than 150 people on Sunday, including dozens of foreigners — with British, Dutch and American citizens believed to be among them.
The bombs ripped through high-end hotels and churches holding Easter services, rocking the Asian nation.
It comes a month after about 50 Muslims were killed in a shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, and like then, world leaders have condemned the ‘cowardly’ attack.
British Prime Minister Theresa May described the attacks as “truly appalling”, saying “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 tweeted.
“We must stand together to make sure that no one should ever have to practise their faith in fear.”
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte tweeted after the attacks first emerged.
“Terrible reports from Sri Lanka about bloody attacks on hotels and churches on this Easter Sunday.
“Thoughts are with the victims and their relatives.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia was thinking of those killed in a “horrific terrorist attack”.
“To the beautiful people of Sri Lanka, Australia sends its heartfelt sympathies and our prayers and our support — and our offer to do whatever we can to support you in this terrible time of need,” he said in a statement.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the attack as “devastating”.
“New Zealand condemns all acts of terrorism, and our resolve has only been strengthened by the attack on our soil on the 15th of March. To see an attack in Sri Lanka while people were in churches and at hotels is devastating.
“New Zealand rejects all forms of extremism and stands for freedom of religion and the right to worship safely. Collectively we must find the will and the answers to end such violence.”
The Catholic Church in Jerusalem said the blasts were particularly sad as they “came while Christians celebrate Easter”.
“We pray for the souls of the victims and ask for speedy recovery of the injured, and ask God to inspire the terrorists to repent of their killing and intimidation,” the statement said.
“We also express our solidarity with Sri Lanka and all its inhabitants in their various religious and ethnic backgrounds.”