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A security guard stands in front of the Saint Anthony of Colombo Shrine after a bomb blast in churches and luxury hotels in Easter, Sri Lanka, on April 22, 2019. REUTERS / Athit Perawongmetha

The jihadist group Islamic State (IS) claimed on Tuesday the attacks on the Christian minority that made more than 320 victims on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka.

" The perpetrators of attacks targeting citizens of the [Anti-IS] Coalition countries and Christians in Sri Lanka are IS fighters ," the jihadist group said via its propaganda agency Amaq. These suicide bombings in three luxury hotels and three churches in high mass caused carnage on Easter Sunday.

The authorities , for their part, attribute the bloodshed to the local Islamist National Thowheeth Jama'ath (NTJ) Islamist movement, which has not claimed it, and whether it has received international logistical support. These attacks are among the most deadly attacks against civilians since September 11, 2001.

For Zachary Abuza, a professor at the National War College in Washington, specialist jihadist groups in Southeast Asia interviewed by AFP, the National Thowheeth Jama'ath (NTJ), pointed out by the Sri Lankan government, " n There are no local motivations. They want to be part of the global insurgency of the Islamic State . "

" Retaliation " against the Christchurch attack

Preliminary evidence also indicates that the attacks were in retaliation for the carnage of the Christchurch mosques in New Zealand and in connection with a little-known Indian Islamist group, the Sri Lankan deputy minister said on Tuesday. Defense, Ruwan Wijewardene.

► See also : Syria : the jihadists of the EI group multiply deadly attacks

On March 15, an attack left 50 dead in two mosques in the big city of southern New Zealand. The " caliphate "Self-proclaimed in 2014 by the IS on vast territories conquered in Syria and Iraq, collapsed in March after multiple offensives. Yet, the jihadist group continues to claim attacks committed in these two countries as well as elsewhere in the world . " What we have seen in Sri Lanka is the opening of a new front in the global jihadist insurgency ," concludes Zachary Abuza.

(With AFP)