Sri Lanka bombings were retaliation for Christchurch shooting, defense minister says

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By Sanjeev Laxman and Ben Kesslen

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka’s minister of defense said the coordinated Easter Sunday attacks that killed at least 321 people were retaliation for the recent Christchurch mosque massacre in New Zealand.

“Extremist group named National Thowheed Jamaath carried out Sunday’s terror attacks in response to terror attacks in Christchurch,” Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said.

The shooting in March in New Zealand left 50 dead, and caused that country to take swift action to approve new gun control laws.

Wijewardene also said the “weakness” of Sri Lanka’s security apparatus is to blame for failing to prevent the nine bombings, according to the Associated Press.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

Laxman reported from Colombo, Kesslen reported from New York City.

Associated Press contributed.

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