World leaders stood united in their condemnation of a series of blasts in Sri Lanka that killed more than 200 people on Easter Sunday, including dozens of foreigners – with Turkish, Dutch and Chinese among them.
The bombs ripped through high-end hotels in Colombo and churches in and outside the capital holding Easter services.
Here is a summary of global reactions:
Pope Francis denounced the “cruel violence” of the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka.
“I learned with sadness and pain of the news of the grave attacks, that precisely today, Easter, brought mourning and pain to churches and other places where people were gathered in Sri Lanka,” Francis said in his traditional Easter Sunday “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message.
“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.”
Archbishop of Colombo
Sri Lanka’s most senior Catholic figure called on the government to find the attackers and “punish them mercilessly”.
“I would also like to ask the government to hold a very impartial strong inquiry and find out who is responsible behind this act and also to punish them mercilessly, because only animals can behave like that,” Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the archbishop of Colombo, said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the attack “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.
“This barbaric attack in Sri Lanka once again demonstrated the need for a decisive fight against all kinds of terrorism,” Erdogan said in a separate statement Sunday.
Erdogan also expressed his solidarity with Sri Lanka against terrorism.
Minister Jacinda Ardern condemned the “devastating” attacks.
In a statement, Ardern referred to the March 15 shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch in which 50 died.
“New Zealand condemns all acts of terrorism and our resolve has only been strengthened by the attack on our soil,” Ardern said.
“New Zealand rejects all forms of extremism and stands for freedom of religion and the right to worship safely,” she added.
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.”
British Prime Minister Teresa May has condemned what she called the “truly appalling” attacks in Sri Lanka.
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.
— Theresa May (@theresa_may) April 21, 2019
German Chancellor Angela Merkel wrote a letter of condolence to Sri Lanka’s president.
“It is shocking that people who had gathered to celebrate Easter were the deliberate target of vicious attacks,” she said.
“We’re horrified by the news that Christians in Sri Lanka were attacked and killed during Easter services,” wrote Merkel’s spokesperson on Twitter. “We mourn them and pray for the injured and their family members.”
The archbishop of Paris and parishioners of fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral are mourning the victims of the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka.
Archbishop Michel Aupetit tweeted: “Why so much hate on this day when we celebrate love? On this Easter day, we are in communion with our murdered brethren of Sri Lanka.
Aupetit celebrated Easter Mass for worshippers displaced from normal services at Notre Dame because of Monday’s fire.
We are deeply saddened by the terrorist attacks against churches and hotels in Sri Lanka. We firmly condemn these odious acts. We stand by the people of Sri Lanka and our thoughts go out to the loved ones of the victims on this Easter Sunday. https://t.co/NytqQP9aE7
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 21, 2019
President Donald Trump tweeted the US was ready to help the “great people of Sri Lanka”.
In an earlier tweet, which has since been deleted, he mistakenly said “138 million” people were killed in the attacks.
138 people have been killed in Sri Lanka, with more that 600 badly injured, in a terrorist attack on churches and hotels. The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka. We stand ready to help!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2019
Prime Minister Imran Khan said in a tweet that Pakistan “stands in complete solidarity” with Sri Lanka.
Strongly condemn the horrific terrorist attack in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday resulting in precious lives lost & hundreds injured. My profound condolences go to our Sri Lankan brethren. Pakistan stands in complete solidarity with Sri Lanka in their hour of grief.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) April 21, 2019
“It was with horror and sadness that I heard of the bombings in Sri Lanka costing the lives of so many people. I offer my heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims who had gathered to worship peacefully or come to visit this beautiful country. We stand ready to support,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Twitter.
Gulf Arab nations
Three Gulf Arab nations have condemned the bombings.
Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates all issued statements via their foreign ministries over the attack.