One of the nine bombers that detonated explosives on Easter Sunday was a woman, State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene has said on Wednesday.
Straits Times said the state minister’s comment came after police confirmed that nine suicide bombers were involved in the blasts and eight have been identified.
It has been revealed that one of the suicide bombers had studied in Britain and Australia, it said.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today said that they were not aware of any intelligence suggesting that Easter Sunday attack in Sri Lanka was in retaliation for deadly shootings on a mosques in Christchurch, Reuters reported.
State Minister of Defence, Ruwan Wijewardene, told parliament on Tuesday that an initial investigation had revealed the bombings on churches and hotels, which killed 321 people, had been carried out in revenge for deadly shootings in two New Zealand mosques on March 15.
Security experts and analysts, however, have questioned whether the coordinated bomb attacks could have been planned in such a short period.
“We haven’t received anything officially nor have we received any intelligence reports that corroborate what has been said in Sri Lanka,” PM Ardern told reporters at a press conference in Auckland.
“Sri Lanka will be in the very early stages of its investigations. So we are simply stepping back and allowing them to undertake those, but we have nothing at this stage to corroborate what is being said,” she added.
Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the Sri Lanka attacks on Tuesday and named what it said were seven attackers who carried them out. It gave no further evidence to support its claim of responsibility.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told a news conference investigators were making progress in identifying the perpetrators and believed there could be some links to IS.