Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn condemn 'appalling' Sri Lanka terror attacks as death toll mounts

Posted On: 
22nd April 2019

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have condemned the “appalling” Easter weekend attacks in Sri Lanka that have left at least 290 people dead.

People work at a blast scene at St. Anthony's Church in Kochchikade in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Credit: 
PA

Hundreds of people were killed and around 500 injured by a series of explosions targeting churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.

The island’s foreign ministry has confirmed that five British nationals - including two US-UK dual nationals - were among those killed in the wave of attacks.

Sajid Javid to warn social media firms they must halt terror content ‘or face UK ban’

Sajid Javid: Social media companies must not do the terrorists’ work for them

Minister failed to act on recommendations ahead of last year’s terror attacks, say MPs

British politicians lined up to condemn the killings, with the Prime Minister saying: "The acts of violence against churches and hotels in Sri Lanka are truly appalling, and my deepest sympathies go out to all of those affected at this tragic time."

Mrs May added: "We must stand together to make sure that no one should ever have to practise their faith in fear."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "I'm appalled by the horrific attacks in Sri Lanka, on Easter Sunday, the most important day in the Christian calendar.

"I stand with the victims, their families, the people of Sri Lanka and Christians around the world. We must defeat this hatred with unity, love and respect."

And Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he was "deeply shocked and saddened" by the "horrifying attacks".

The Cabinet minister added: “To target those gathered for the simple act of worship on Easter Sunday is unspeakably wicked.

"Everyone has a right to practice their faith in peace, safety and security but tragedies like this, and the one in Christchurch, remind us that there are some who hate these rights and freedoms."

Mr Hunt has promised that the UK will give "any help" it can to Sri Lankan authorities in the aftermath of the deadly incidents.

British Labour MP Tulip Siddiq meanwhile revealed that she had lost a relative in the "devastating" attack.

 

 

Sri Lanka's defence minister Ruwan Wijewardene has said that suicide bombers were behind the majority of the attacks, 24 people so far in police custody.

The country's authorities have also imposed a social media blackout amid fears that disinformation spread online could spark a fresh wave of violence.