U.S. lawmakers came together Sunday in a show of support to Sri Lanka and Christians around the world after a string of terrorist bombings ravaged tourist hotels and churches, mostly in and around the capital of the South Asian island nation.
Many noted in their condemnations that the terrorist attacks came on the holiest day of the Christian calendar — the holiday marking the resurrection of Jesus.
“No person of faith should fear for his or her life in a place of worship,” Sen. James Risch, Idaho Republican and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement. “Today’s horrific terror attacks are especially poignant on Easter Sunday, a day that many of us around the world celebrate our Christian faith.”
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel tweeted that he was “deeply saddened by today’s terrorist attacks in #SriLanka, including those on Catholic churches filled with worshippers on Easter Sunday.”
The attacks killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more after eight blasts rocked Sri Lanka. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday confirmed that several U.S. citizens were among the victims.
In a statement, Mr. Pompeo said the U.S. Embassy is working to provide assistance to the Americans affected.
“Attacks on innocent people gathering in a place of worship or enjoying a holiday meal are affronts to the universal values and freedoms that we hold dear, Mr. Pompeo said, “and demonstrate yet again the brutal nature of radical terrorists whose sole aim is to threaten peace and security.”
Many lawmakers, including President Trump, offered support to a nation suffering its worst chaos since a bloody civil war ended a decade ago.
“The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka. We stand ready to help!” Mr. Trump wrote in a tweet that called Sunday’s events “a terrorist attack.”
Mr. Engel, a New York Democrat, echoed the president’s sentiments and added, “I send my heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims and stand ready to support any needed assistance.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi added that “today’s heartbreaking attacks in Sri Lanka come as the country has worked hard to build a common future after years of war.”
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