COLOMBO – The envoys of 10 Muslim countries expressed their condolences to the head of the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka on Wednesday, three days after eight bombings shook the country’s capital on Easter Sunday killing 359.
The diplomats — including Turkish Ambassador Tunca Ozcuhadar — paid a visit to Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith to pledge solidarity with the Christian community in Sri Lanka.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Ozcuhadar said they felt genuine grief in the aftermath of the violence that bloodied one of the most important holidays on the Christian calendar.
He added that the devastating attack highlighted the need for a concerted global effort to bring peace by taking all possible measures to curb terror and promote communal harmony.
Envoys to the country from Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Palestine, Bangladesh, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Afghanistan, the Maldives, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates also took part in the visit.
The bombings hit churches in cities of Kochchikade, Negombo and Batticaloa, as well as Kingsbury, Cinnamon Grand, and Shangri La hotels in the capital Colombo.
The Daesh terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Sri Lanka experienced three decades of ethnic conflict, which claimed over 60,000 lives and ended in 2009, when Sri Lankan security forces defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam.
Since then, barring sporadic attacks, Sri Lanka has gradually returned to normalcy. Last Sunday’s bombings are considered the single worst attack on the South Asian Christian community.