Foreign Minister confirms Sri Lanka attacks are terrorism but won’t lay blame just yet
UPDATE: The Prime Minister has now confirmed that 2 Australians are among those killed in the terror attack. 2 Australian dual nationals are among the injured.
The government is labelling the horrific Sri Lanka bombings as terrorism but is refusing to lay the blame just yet.
Almost 300 people are dead and more than 450 injured after a series of co-ordinated bomb blasts went off around the country.
Many were targeted at Catholics celebrating and worshipping on Easter Sunday.
None of the 36 foreign internationals killed are believed to be Australian but one Aussie is receiving consular assistance after being injured.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne tells Deborah Knight the motives of the attack are clear but says no group has claimed responsibility just yet.
“I think it would be difficult to say there is any doubt that these are devastating terrorist attacks.
“And we know that at least 13 people so far have been arrested in Sri Lanka.
“But Deb, I don’t think it is helpful at this stage to engage, particularly from Australia, in conjecture as to who might be behind these attacks.”
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There are reports the Sri Lankan government was warned about the threat in the days prior to the attacks.
Minister Payne says local authorities are focused on the current threat but says Australia will offer any and all help required to investigate.
“I’m sure that information will come to light in the coming days and weeks.”
Australian man Tony Gattari was in the hotel next to where the blasts went off.
His hosts immediately rushed him out of Colombo to keep him safe and he has now managed to get out of the country.
Tony tells Deborah Knight about the moment the explosions rocked the city.
“It’s one of those situations where it’s so dramatic, you don’t actually realise that you’re actually in the real world.
“It was chaos at the airport. It took us about six hours to get through check-in.”
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