Sri Lanka offers help with New Zealand knife attack probe

Published September 5, 2021
A police officer gestures to a customer to leave outside a supermarket in Auckland on Saturday. — AP
A police officer gestures to a customer to leave outside a supermarket in Auckland on Saturday. — AP

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka will cooperate with New Zealand’s investigation into a knife rampage by an assailant inspired by the militant Islamic State group from the South Asian nation, authorities said on Saturday.

Police shot dead the 32-year-old Sri Lankan after he attacked seven people in an Auckland supermarket on Friday. The man had been living in New Zealand since 2011.

“Sri Lanka condemns this senseless violence, and stands ready to cooperate with New Zealand authorities in any way necessary,” foreign ministry spokesman Kohularangan Ratnas­ingam said in the Sri Lankan government’s first comment on the incident.

Ratnasingam commended the quick response of New Zealand authorities in dealing with the attacker.

Sri Lankan police sources said criminal investigators had already interviewed the attacker’s brother, who lives in Colombo, and were looking into all possible links.

“We are collecting information about him as well as anyone else who may have had contacts with him,” a top police official said, adding there were no records of the attacker visiting Sri Lanka recently.

The South Asian country is still scarred by suicide attacks on three churches and three hotels on Easter Sunday in 2019 that left 279 dead. Some of the attackers came from the same eastern province as the Auckland attacker.

The 2019 bombings were blamed on a group that pledged allegiance to the then IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Sri Lanka’s Muslim Council has condemned the Auckland attack as a “barbaric act of terrorism,” and thanked New Zealand police for their swift response.

Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

No pardon for rape
Updated 07 Feb, 2023

No pardon for rape

Cultural filters and biases can often lead to faulty applications of the law.
Health insurance
07 Feb, 2023

Health insurance

THE planning ministry is reported to have raised objections to Punjab’s flagship universal health coverage...
The people’s demands
07 Feb, 2023

The people’s demands

AS the people of KP are literally on the frontline of the battle against terrorism and violent extremism, they are...
The Musharraf enigma
Updated 06 Feb, 2023

The Musharraf enigma

The Musharraf era holds numerous lessons for Pakistan’s ruling elite, civilian and military.
Staying neutral
06 Feb, 2023

Staying neutral

THE Election Commission of Pakistan has what is perhaps one of the most thankless jobs in the country. The countless...
Wikipedia ban
06 Feb, 2023

Wikipedia ban

THE country was back in a familiar, dark place last week when the PTA blocked Wikipedia over the charge that it...