Council chiefs have slammed the terror attacks in Sri Lanka, calling on residents to help “eradicate intolerance, prejudice and extremism”.

Leader of Slough Borough Council James Swindlehurst, and chief executive Josie Wragg, condemned the horrifying attacks which took place on Easter Sunday, killing hundreds of people in churches and hotels in the country.

They said: “We, along with our residents of all faiths and races, condemn the attacks in Sri Lanka at the weekend and send our thoughts and prayers to all Sri Lankans.

“Places of worship, of all faiths, are sacred ground, safe places for those with faith and those with no formal religion and should not be defiled with such acts of hate and horror. Extremism and hate in any form are abhorrent to us.

“Our thoughts are with the victims, friends and families of all those affected by the atrocities at the weekend; this was cold-blooded murder, but we hope the good wishes being sent from around the world gives comfort to those bereaved.

“We promise to redouble our efforts to ensure Slough residents continue to stand together; united against hate in all its forms, united against those who would try and divide us and united in our believe in strength, community and peace.

“Slough is a town where people, from a multitude of backgrounds, live side by side in a spirit of tolerance and of love, and is full of examples of people reaching across divides.

“Hate has no place in our town and we call on all Slough residents to play their part in eradicating the intolerance, prejudice and extremism that leads to the kind of horrors we have witnessed across the world.”

A vigil was held in the town centre on Monday, with speeches led by mayor Paul Singh Sohal and Cllr Swindlehurst, and other community members – who all reportedly referenced passages of forgiveness from the Bible.