Sri Lanka will cooperate with New Zealand’s investigation into a knife theft by an Islamic State-inspired attacker from the South Asian nation, authorities said on Saturday.
Police shot and killed the 32-year-old Sri Lankan after he attacked seven people in an Auckland supermarket on Friday. The man has lived in New Zealand since 2011.
“Sri Lanka condemns this senseless violence and stands ready to cooperate with the New Zealand authorities in any way possible,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Kohularangan Ratnasingam said in the Sri Lankan government’s first comment on the move. incident.
Ratnasingam praised the prompt response of New Zealand authorities in dealing with the attacker.
Sri Lankan police sources said detectives had already questioned the attacker’s brother, who lives in Colombo, and were investigating all possible links.
“We are collecting information about him and anyone who may have had contact with him,” a senior police official said, adding that there was no data on the attacker who recently visited Sri Lanka.
The South Asian country is still scarred by suicide bombings on three churches and three hotels on Easter Sunday in 2019 that left 279 dead. Some of the attackers came from the same eastern province as the Auckland attacker.
The 2019 bombings were blamed on a group that swore allegiance to then-Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka has condemned the attack in Auckland as a “barbaric act of terrorism” and thanked New Zealand police for their prompt response.
“This reminds us all to come together and be united and fight locally and internationally against terrorism and violent extremism for the betterment of all,” Councilor Mohamed Hisham told AFP.
Sri Lankan Muslim lawmaker Mujibur Rahman said his community was saddened by the attack, while praising New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for softening public sentiment.
“Her statement shortly after the incident defused the situation and ensured that there was no harm to the Sri Lankan community (in New Zealand),” Rahman told AFP.
Ardern insisted that no community be singled out for the violence.
“It was performed by an individual, not by a creed, not by a culture, not by an ethnicity,” Ardern said.
“He alone bears the responsibility for these acts.”
(This story was not edited by NewsMadura staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)