Colombo:More than two days after the Sri Lanka bombings, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the coordinated attacks.
The group's news agency, Amaq, released a bulletin on Tuesday stating that the attacks were carried out by "Islamic State fighters," according to a New York Times report.
The statement, which was disseminated on the group's chat rooms on the app Telegram, also said that the bombings targeted Christians as well as citizens of countries belonging to the coalition fighting the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.
The group's wording did not make clear whether it had direct ties to the bombers, or if the attackers were heeding the Islamic State's calls for Muslims to attack in their home countries. The group has repeatedly called for assaults on churches, particularly since the New Zealand mosque attacks.
Whatever the links, the claim suggests that the recapture of territory once held by ISIS in Syria and Iraq does not mean the group is no longer a threat. Security experts say the group is as much an ideology as an organisation, and many of its former fighters have gone underground.
Sri Lanka's State Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene on Tuesday said the initial investigations revealed that an Islamist extremist group named National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ) had carried out the Easter Sunday terror attack in response to the terror attack on Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Later, country's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that local extremist group National Towheed Jamath (NTJ) was linked to a global terror network, adding that all steps would be taken to prevent terrorism from raising its head in the island country again. "We will never allow another war to begin in this country," he added.(UNI)