A relative of a victim of the explosion at St Anthony’s Shrine, Kochchikade Church, at the police mortuary in Colombo on Sunday. Reuters
Durban - SOUTH African faith-based organisations have roundly condemned the Easter Sunday bomb blasts in which 290 people were killed and 500 were injured across Sri Lanka, targeting churches and international hotels.

The South Africa Synod of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa said it condemned the “heinous and violent crimes” that targeted Christians.

“We pray for peace in Sri Lanka and many other places around the world where Christians and other people of various faiths, such as people of Palestine and Myanmar, are subjected to suffering,” said Synod secretary Thulani Ndlazi.

The Jamiatul Ulama South Africa also expressed its shock and condemnation of the attacks, saying the violence showed “a total disregard for the sanctity of human life” and the sacredness of places of worship.

“In this time of great need, we appeal to the communities of Colombo to reach out for each other, in a spirit of goodwill and solidarity, against the agents of such terror,” it said.

In a joint statement, officials from the Claremont Main Road Mosque, in Cape Town also condemned the attack, saying it was “emblematic of the heartbreaking hatred and cruelty that has beset our current world”.

“We call on all peace- and justice-loving people to redouble our efforts to spread love and compassion to heal our troubled world.

“We appeal especially to our Muslim brothers and sisters to reciprocate the solidarity and compassion that poured out in the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque attacks in March this year,” read the statement.

On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa sent condolences to the government and the people of Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan government has blamed a little-known jihadist group National Thowfeek Jamath for the bombings, with 24 people having been arrested in successive raids across the island.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena indicated he would seek foreign help in tracking down international links with Sunday’s attackers.

According to a statement from his office, intelligence reports indicated that foreign terrorist organisations were backing the terrorists. Daily News Correspondent

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