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Sri Lankan military officials stand guard in front of St Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade church following the serial blasts across the nation. (Photo: Reuters) Image Credit: Reuters

President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent a cable of condolences to Maithripala Sirisena, the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, on the victims of the horrible terrorist explosions that hit churches and hotels in the capital Colombo.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, sent similar cables of condolences to the Sri Lankan President.

Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed condemned the blasts in Sri Lanka on Twitter as well, tweeting his condolences in Sinhala.

Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum also condemned the heinous attack.

"Terrorists are those who betray worshippers in their places of worship, plant fear in their hearts and try to ignite religious conflicts in societies. Our condolences to the people of Sri Lanka, to the world and to everyone who works tirelessly towards tolerance and coexistence.", he said in a tweet on Sunday.

The United Arab Emirates has condemned the terrorist bombings that targeted churches and hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

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Image Credit: Reuters

In a statement on Sunday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, MoFAIC, said that the UAE affirmed its firm stance against all forms of violence, terrorism and extremism, targeting all without distinction between religion and race.

The statement added the UAE stands in solidarity with the government and people of Sri Lanka in their fight against violence and extremism.

UAE has expressed condolences to the government of Sri Lanka and to the families of the victims, wishing speedy recovery for the injured.

Bahrain, meanwhile, said "these acts of terrorism are incompatible with religious principles and human and moral values."

Religious and world leaders have condemned a series of blasts in Sri Lanka that killed more than 150 people on Sunday, including dozens of foreigners - with British, Dutch and American citizens believed to be among them.


Egypt's Al-Azhar, the Sunni Muslim world's foremost religious institution, on Sunday condemned "terrorist" attacks in Sri Lanka against hotels and churches celebrating Easter that killed more than 200 people.

"I cannot imagine a human being could target the peaceful on their celebration day," said Shaikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the institution's grand imam.

"Those terrorists' perverted disposition goes against the teachings of all religions," he said in comments published on Al-Azhar's Twitter account.

"I pray that God grants patience to the families of the casualties and recovery to the injured," added Shaikh Tayeb.

Al-Azhar frequently denounces jihadist movements and regularly reaches out to the Christian faith.

In February, Pope Francis and Shaikh Tayeb signed a document on "human fraternity for world peace", hailed by the Vatican as an "important step forward in the dialogue between Christians and Muslims".

But some intellectuals have accused Al-Azhar's scholarly institutions of feeding fundamentalism and intolerance.

Sri Lankan president, prime minister and other political leaders strongly condemned a series of coordinated bomb attacks on churches and hotels on Sunday that left over 156 dead and urged people to be patient while vowing to bring to justice those responsible for the barbaric act.

The blasts targeted St Anthony's Church in Colombo, St Sebastian's Church in the western coastal town of Negombo and another church in the eastern town of Batticaloa around 8.45 a.m. (local time) as the Easter Sunday mass were in progress.

Three explosions were reported from the five-star hotels - the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury. Foreigners and locals who were injured in hotel blasts were admitted to the Colombo General Hospital.

Holy Land Catholics condemn attacks

The Catholic Church in the Holy Land has voiced support for Sri Lanka's Christians and condemned Easter Sunday attacks.

A statement issued in Jerusalem said the blasts were particularly sad as they "came while Christians celebrate Easter."

"We pray for the souls of the victims and ask for speedy recovery of the injured, and ask God to inspire the terrorists to repent of their killing and intimidation," the statement said.

"We also express our solidarity with Sri Lanka and all its inhabitants in their various religious and ethnic backgrounds."

Pakistan: 'Horrific'

Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan took to twitter to condem the attacks.

Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal on Sunday said in a Tweet that people and government of Pakistan stand by people and government of Sri Lanka at this moment of tragedy.

India: We stand with you

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the mass killings by suicide bombers in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, saying India stood in solidarity with the island nation.

"India condemns the terror attacks in Sri Lanka and offers its condolences to the people and government of the country," Kovind tweeted.

"Such senseless violence, aimed at innocent people, has no place in civilised society. We stand in complete solidarity with Sri Lanka."

Modi added: "Strongly condemn the horrific blasts in Sri Lanka. There is no place for such barbarism in our region. India stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka. My thoughts are with the bereaved families and prayers with the injured."

A string of explosions rocked churches and hotels in Colombo and elsewhere during Easter Sunday.

Russia's Putin condemns Sri Lanka attacks

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denounced a series of attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka as "cruel and cynical."

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Blasts hit churches in Sri Lanka on Sunday, including in the capital Colombo, as worshippers attended Easter services, police said. This photograph from Sri Lankan English newspaper Daily Mirror shows one of the churches impacted in Easter Sunday blasts. April 21, 2019. Image Credit: Courtesy: Daily Mirror

In a telegram of condolences sent to his Sri Lankan counterpart, the Russian leader said Moscow remains a "reliable partner of Sri Lanka in the fight against international terrorism."

He added that the Russians "share the grief of the relatives of those killed and wish a quick recovery to all those who were wounded".

Putin voiced confidence that "the perpetrators and the masterminds of such a cruel and cynical crime committed amid the Easter festivities will take the punishment they deserve."

Turkey condemns attacks

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned the attacks, calling them "an assault on all of humanity."

In comments posted on Twitter, Erdogan offered his condolences to families of the victims and to the people of Sri Lanka.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said: "Regardless of the motive, the attack in Sri Lanka is the same as the traitorous attack in Christchurch: cowardly, barbaric and cruel."

He was referring to last month's attacks against two mosques in New Zealand during Friday prayers that killed 50 people.

US: 'Senseless attacks'

The US ambassador to Sri Lanka, Alaina Teplitz, tweeted: "Deeply saddened by the senseless attacks in Sri Lanka today. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families. We stand with Sri Lanka's people at this terrible moment."

Sri Lanka attacks 'truly appalling': British PM

British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the deadly string of Easter Sunday attacks on Christians in Sri Lanka as "truly appalling".

"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. We must stand together to make sure that no one should ever have to practise their faith in fear," she said on Twitter.

European leaders horrified at Sri Lanka attacks

European leaders are expressing horror at the attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier wrote in a message to his Sri Lankan counterpart that he was "stunned and horrified" by the "cowardly terror attacks." Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz wrote on Twitter that he was "deeply shaken and concerned by (the) devious terrorist attacks."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday also condemned the bombings, urging that the "religious hate and intolerance that have showed themselves in such a terrible way today must not win".

"It is shocking that people who gathered to celebrate Easter together were consciously targeted in this malicious attack," Merkel said in a condolence telegram published by a spokeswoman on Twitter.

The head of the European Union's executive Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said he learned of the bombings "with horror and sadness."

French President Emmanuel Macron condemned Sunday the "odious" attacks that left 160 dead at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka.

"We strongly condemn these odious acts," he wrote on Twitter. "Full solidarity with the Sri Lanka people and our thoughts for all those close to the victims this Easter."

The Netherlands: 'Terrible reports'  

"Terrible reports from Sri Lanka about bloody attacks on hotels and churches on this Easter Sunday," Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte tweeted after the attacks first emerged.

"Thoughts are with the victims and their relatives."

Australia: 'Terrorist attack'  

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia was thinking of those killed in a "horrific terrorist attack".

"To the beautiful people of Sri Lanka, Australia sends its heartfelt sympathies and our prayers and our support - and our offer to do whatever we can to support you in this terrible time of need," he said in a statement.

"At this time as Easter Sunday draws to a conclusion here in Australia, our heart goes out to those Christians and all of those other innocents who have been slaughtered today in this horrific terrorist attack."

New Zealand: 'Devastating'  

A month after dozens of Muslims were killed in a shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the attack as "devastating".

"New Zealand condemns all acts of terrorism, and our resolve has only been strengthened by the attack on our soil on the 15th of March. To see an attack in Sri Lanka while people were in churches and at hotels is devastating.

"New Zealand rejects all forms of extremism and stands for freedom of religion and the right to worship safely. Collectively we must find the will and the answers to end such violence."

Pope: 'Cruel violence' 

Pope Francis is denouncing the "cruel violence" of the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka and is praying for all those who are suffering from the bloodshed.

Francis added an appeal at the end of his traditional Easter Sunday blessing to address the massacre which killed more than 130 people.

Speaking from the loggia of St. Peter's Basilica, Francis said: "I want to express my loving closeness to the Christian community, targeted while they were gathered in prayer, and all the victims of such cruel violence."

He added: "I entrust to the Lord all those who were tragically killed and pray for the injured and all those who are suffering as a result of this dramatic event."