Official: Easter Bombings Were 'Revenge for Christchurch'

American 5th-grader was among Sri Lanka victims
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2019 6:31 AM CDT
Updated Apr 23, 2019 6:58 AM CDT

(Newser) – The father of 11-year-old Kieran Shafritz de Zoysa says his "articulate and insightful and kind" son was one of the Americans killed in the Sri Lanka Easter Sunday bombings. The fifth-grader was staying with his mother in Sri Lanka during a leave of absence from the prestigious Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC, NBC reports. Father Alexander Arrow says Kieran, whose mother and grandmother survived the suicide bombing at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, was "just a foot in the wrong direction." He says Kieran dreamed of becoming a neuroscientist. "The terrorists had no idea who they were killing," he says. "Who they happened to hit was an incredible person who was going to do great things." Authorities say the death toll from the attacks has now hit 321, including four American citizens. In other developments:

  • "Retaliation for Christchurch." Ruwan Wijewardene, Sri Lanka’s defence minister, said Tuesday that the attacks at churches and hotels were retaliation for the mosque massacres in Christchurch, New Zealand last month, the Guardian reports. Analysts, however, say preparations for the attacks probably began months before the Christchurch mass shooting.

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