Sri Lankan authorities have confirmed one of the suicide bombers responsible for the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks attended an Australian university.
Sri Lankan Junior Minister for Defence Ruwan Wijewardene said the bomber completed his post-graduate education in Australia.
It comes after the death toll was revised up to 359 earlier on Wednesday.
Sri Lanka police say they have confirmed there were nine suicide bombers. Eight have now been identified.
— Ruwan Wijewardene (@RWijewardene) April 24, 2019
Hundreds were killed and 500 injured in a series of co-ordinated blasts in churches and hotels, in Sri Lanka’s deadliest violence since a devastating civil war ended in 2009.
Earlier Mr Wijewardene said an initial investigation showed the deadly attacks were carried out in retaliation for last month’s Christchurch mosque shootings.
The office of New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was aware of comments linking Sri Lanka’s Easter bombings to the mosque attacks in Christchurch, but noted the investigation was “in its early stages”.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks via its AMAQ news agency.
The group often claims responsibility for such attacks, whether or not it was involved, but Sri Lankan officials do believe the local groups had links to foreign extremists.