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

Iran’s counterstrike
Updated 15 Apr, 2024

Iran’s counterstrike

Israel, by attacking Iran’s diplomatic facilities and violating Syrian airspace, is largely responsible for this dangerous situation.
Opposition alliance
15 Apr, 2024

Opposition alliance

AFTER the customary Ramazan interlude, political activity has resumed as usual. A ‘grand’ opposition alliance ...
On the margins
15 Apr, 2024

On the margins

IT appears that we are bent upon taking the majoritarian path. Thus, the promise of respect and equality for the...
Noshki killings
Updated 14 Apr, 2024

Noshki killings

It must be asked why Baloch separatists continue to target civilians as well as security men despite large deployment.
Upholding the law
14 Apr, 2024

Upholding the law

THE recent discord in Bahawalnagar offers a chance to reflect on the sanctity of the law and its enforcement across...
Tragic travels
14 Apr, 2024

Tragic travels

FOR those embarking on road and boat journeys, the probability of fatal accidents has seen a steady rise. The recent...