Lanka Easter bombings signal ‘new type of terror’ threat in S Asia: Nepal’s dy PM

PTI, Jun 17, 2019, 4:52 PM IST

Kathmandu: Sri Lanka’s devastating Easter Sunday bombings have signalled that a “new type of terrorism” threat has arrived in South Asia and that Nepal has to learn from the lessons and experiences of its friends around the world on counter terrorism, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Ishwar Pokhrel has said.

It is very important to understand the complex phenomenon of terrorism in regional and national contexts, Pokhrel said while addressing a seminar ‘Dialogues on Public Security: Countering Terrorism’ organised by Nepal Army here on Sunday.

Nine suicide bombers carried out a series of blasts that tore through three churches and as many luxury hotels on April 21, killing 258 people and injuring 500 others.

“We have witnessed terrorist attacks on innocent civilians in many parts of the world and we have been saddened by those attacks,” he was quoted as saying by My Republica newspaper.

“The Easter Sunday bombing attacks this April in Sri Lanka sent a clear and strong message that a new type of terrorism threat has arrived in South Asia,” the Deputy Prime Minister said at the presence of ministers, foreign diplomats and top military officers.

There is a need to learn from the lessons and experiences of “our friends around the world on counter terrorism”, he said. Many security threats are cross-cutting and unconventional in nature in this century, Pokhrel said.

“They are neither limited by national boundaries nor dealt with by conventional warfare. The worst of these threats to challenge humanity and global security is terrorism,” he said.

The geostrategic location of Nepal and security concern of neighbours and other friendly countries are also compelling reasons for the Nepal government to work carefully and collaboratively to counter terrorism, Pokhrel said. “Domestic, regional and international efforts are needed to address the problem of counter-terrorism.

“We know from our limited experience in Nepal that terrorism does not discriminate… and the innocents suffer the most,” he said, adding that the government identified terrorism as a challenge to national security.

The Easter Sunday attack was the worst terror attack in the country. Though the Islamic State claimed the attacks, the Sri Lankan government has blamed the local Islamist extremist group National Thawheed Jamaath for the bombings.

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