EAST Renfrewshire’s MP has sent a message of sympathy to those affected by the Easter terror attacks in Sri Lanka.

A wave of bombings at churches and hotels on Easter Sunday left more than 320 people dead and about 500 injured.

Most of those killed were Sri Lankan but officials say at least 38 foreigners were among the dead, including a number of British nationals.

Paul Masterton, MP for East Renfrewshire, described the latest terrorist atrocity witnessed by the world as “heartbreaking.

He said: “Sadly, it is yet another example of Christians around the world being targeted and murdered because of their faith.

“Tragically, the lives of eight British nationals were among those lost.

“This was a cowardly and barbaric attack on innocent civilians and worshippers and it is right that the UK Government gives its full support to Sri Lanka.

“Religious intolerance is something we must be prepared to stand together to counter, wherever it occurs.”

The Islamic State (IS) group yesterday claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Sri Lanka’s government had previously blamed the blasts on local Islamist group National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ).

Eight blasts were reported, including at three churches during Easter services.

Three hotels in the capital Colombo – the Shangri-La, Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand – were also targeted.

NTJ has no history of large-scale attacks but came to prominence last year when it was blamed for damaging Buddhist statues.

The group has not said it carried out Sunday’s bombings.

The attacks have highlighted rifts in Sri Lanka’s leadership, after it emerged that authorities were warned about an imminent threat from the NTJ jihadist group.

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