In a big development regarding the eight serial blasts which occurred in Sri Lanka on Sunday, initial probe reports have suggested that the terrorist attack was in retaliation to the shootings on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 18, 2019.
This news was confirmed by Sri Lanka's Deputy Defence Minister, as reported by AFP.
On Sunday, six near-simultaneous attacks on three churches and three luxury hotels had occurred killing more than 300 people and injuring more than 500. Following these bomb attacks, two more explosions had taken place later on the same day.
Post these deadly attacks which involved suicide bombers, Sri Lankan police had arrested 40 suspects related to the planning of these attacks while declaring a national emergency throughout the country. Moments after the declaration, police had found 87 bomb detonators in Colombo's Central bus stand on Monday.
On Tuesday, which President Maithripala Sirisena declared a day of mourning, Sri Lankan authorities planned to brief foreign diplomats and receive assistance from the FBI and other foreign intelligence-gathering agencies after officials disclosed Monday that warnings had been received weeks ago of the possibility of an attack by the radical group blamed for the bloodshed.
On March 18, gunman Brenton Tarrant had live-streamed the shooting to Facebook, using a head-mounted camera when he first entered Al Noor mosque, in central Christchurch where he started firing indiscriminately at men, women and children inside the mosque. The total number of victims was 42 in the first shooting, as per media reports.
After that, he had driven to Linwood Mosque in East Christchurch, where he shot at the windows and entered the mosque. A local, Abdul Aziz, had chased the gunman using a shotgun, which made him drop his gun and run away.
Police on responding to an emergency call had apprehended the suspect, 21 minutes later. The total death count was 50, according to the BBC.
In the aftermath of the massacre, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had announced a ban on all military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and high-capacity magazines in New Zealand.