World leaders condemn Lankan blasts

23 April, 2019 12:00 AM printer

World leaders condemn Lankan blasts

A man cries as he prays outside the St. Anthony's Shrine in Colombo on Monday, after the building was hit as part of a series of bomb blasts targeting churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka. —AFP PHOTO

COLOMBO: Religious and world leaders have condemned a series of blasts in Sri Lanka that killed at least 290 people on Sunday, including dozens of foreigners with British, Dutch and American citizens believed to be among them, reports AFP.

Here is a summary of the reactions:

Pope: ‘Cruel violence’—Pope Francis expressed his sadness over the attacks during his traditional Easter address at the Vatican.

“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,” he said.

New Zealand: ‘Devastating’—A month after dozens of Muslims were killed in a shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the Sri Lanka 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.

Egypt mosque: ‘Cannot imagine’—“I cannot imagine a human being could target the peaceful on their celebration day,” tweeted Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand imam of Egypt’s Al-Azhar, the Sunni Muslim world’s foremost religious institution.

US: ‘Ready to help’—US President Donald Trump tweeted: “Heartfelt condolences from the people of the United States to the people of Sri Lanka on the horrible terrorist attacks on churches and hotels.

“We stand ready to help!”

Japan: ‘Strongly condemn’—“This kind of terror attack can never be tolerated. I strongly condemn it,” said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Australia: ‘Terrorist attack’: Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement: “Our heart goes out to those Christians and all of those other innocents who have been slaughtered today in this horrific terrorist attack.”

Pakistan: ‘Horrific’—“Strongly condemn the horrific terrorist attack in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday resulting in precious lives lost & hundreds injured,” tweeted Pakistan’s leader Imran Khan.

Europe: ‘Sad day for the world’—EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker expressed his “horror and sadness” at the blasts, while EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the attacks marked “a truly sad day for the country and for the world”.

“We strongly condemn these odious acts,” French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter.

In Paris, the lights on the Eiffel Tower were dimmed in tribute to the victims.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a statement published on Twitter that “religious hate and intolerance that have showed themselves in such a terrible way today must not win”.