'Cowardly' act reopens old wounds

Mohammad Alayan
Mohammad Alayan
Mohammad Alayan has condemned the Sri Lanka bombings as ''cowardly'' and says it has reopened old wounds among those who survived the Christchurch terror attack.

The bombings came just over a month after he was shot in the head and shoulder, and the loss of his son, at Al-Noor mosque, in Deans Ave.

Dr Alayan is chairman of the Al-Noor Charitable Trust, which runs the An-Nur Early Childhood Education and Care Centre in South Dunedin.

''The Sri Lanka bombs, during the Easter services, was a devastating act for us who witnessed the terror attack at Al-Noor mosque on March 15.

''Indeed, this terrible news has opened our wounds wide.

''I condemn this cowardly attack.

''I read the Sri Lanka bombs were 'revenge' for the Christchurch attacks.

''Such a terror attack is actually an attack on all of us. Our hearts and minds are with the families of the victims in Sri Lanka.''

Two domestic Islamist groups were believed to be responsible for a string of attacks in and around Colombo on Sunday, killing 359 people and wounding about 500 others.

Sri Lankan officials said the co-ordinated attacks on three Christian churches and four hotels were carried out by at least seven suicide bombers.

One official believed the devastating Easter bombings were retaliation for the recent deadly attacks on two mosques in Christchurch.

However, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has expressed caution about the claims.

A spokesperson for her office said she was aware of the reports of a link between the two attacks, but had seen no evidence yet.

Dr Alayan was in hospital for several weeks following the Christchurch terror attack, and said keeping himself occupied was helping him cope with the ordeal.

''I have been trying to catch up with delayed work after the terror attack.

''Thanks to Allah, and then to the wonderful support, medically and socially, I am making good recovery.''

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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