Trump, Netanyahu offer aid after bombings kill 207 in Sri Lanka

World leaders condemn Easter bombings against Christian targets in Sri Lanka which left more than 200 dead.

David Rosenberg,

St. Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade church
St. Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade church
Reuters

Leaders from around the globe condemned a series of bombings targeting Easter celebrations in the island nation of Sri Lanka Sunday which killed more than 200 and left hundreds more injured.

Authorities in Sri Lanka placed urban centers across the country on lock-down after eight separate bombings ripped through hotels and churches in the cities of Colombo, Batticaloa, Negombo, Kochchikade, Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, and Dematagoda.

The death toll in the attacks Sunday rose to 207, including at least 30 foreign nationals, with hundreds more injured.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility.

President Donald Trump offered his condolences to the victims of the bombings, and said the US stood “ready to help” Sri Lanka.

“138 people have been killed in Sri Lanka, with more than 600 badly injured, in a terrorist attack on churches and hotels. The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka. We stand ready to help!”

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also offered assistance to Sri Lanka following the attacks, and called for the world to unite against terrorism.

“In the name of the citizens of Israel, it expresses deep shock at the murderous attacks against innocent civilians in Sri Lanka, and Israel is ready to assist the authorities in Sri Lanka at this difficult time."

“The entire world must unite in the battle against the scourge of terrorism.”

The European Union expressed “horror and sadness” over the attacks, and adding that it was standing “ready to support” Sri Lanka.

“It was with horror and sadness that I heard of the bombings in #SriLanka costing the lives of so many people. I offer my heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims who had gathered to worship peacefully or come to visit this beautiful country. We stand ready to support,” tweeted EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the Sri Lanka bombings as “truly appalling”, and called on the international community to “stand together” in defense of religious freedom.

"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," May tweeted.

"We must stand together to make sure that no one should ever have to practise their faith in fear."

Russian President Vladimir Putin called the attacks “cruel and cynical”, and offered his condolences.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte also tweeted in response to the attacks, writing "Terrible reports from Sri Lanka about bloody attacks on hotels and churches on this Easter Sunday. Thoughts are with the victims and their relatives."

Pope Francis condemned the bombings as “cruel violence”, and expressed “affectionate closeness” with the Sri Lankan Christian community.

“I want to express my affectionate closeness with the Christian community, attacked while it was at prayer, and to all the victims of such cruel violence," the Pope said.

The Catholic Church in Jerusalem had said in an earlier statement: "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."

Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, condemned the “horrific terrorist attack”, adding that Australians hearts “go out to those Christians…slaughtered today in this 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.”

"At this time as Easter Sunday draws to a conclusion here in Australia, our heart goes out to those Christians and all of those other innocents who have been slaughtered today in this horrific terrorist attack."

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the attacks “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."




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