A humanitarian campaigner from Croydon says the death of his friend in the Sri Lankan bombings has "inspired" him to work harder for peace. 

Abdul Basit Syed, who lives in Central Croydon, is the founder of World Humanitarian Drive (WHD), a charity which promotes peace by encouraging dialogue between international communities.

More than 250 people were killed earlier this month, when seven Islamist suicide bombers blew themselves up, targeting worshippers in three churches and three luxury hotels in Colombo.

One of the vicitms was a supporter of WHD and friend of Mr Syed, Nagaraj Reddy, a father of two in his 40s.

Mr Reddy was having breakfast at the Kingsbury Hotel with his brother-in-law, Purushotham Reddy, who is currently in a coma, when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device.

The Bangalore businessman's death was confirmed hours later.

"He has left this life, but in death he has inspired us to work harder for what we believe in," Mr Syed said.

"Nagaraj was a keen businessman and a committed father. He went to Sri Lanka to explore."

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Mr Syed with Dr Purushotham Reddy, who is currently in a coma

A practicing Muslim himself, the social activist went on to condemn the actions of the Islamists in the strongest terms.

"The real martyr in this situation is Nagaraj, not the bombers. He did not know why he was dying," he added.

"To be Muslim is to be a person who does not harm by word, look or touch; if anyone kills unlawfully, they are not a Muslim.

"These people are hijacking the community of Islam, and it is crucial that we come out and condemn them.

"The Muslim community cannot allow itself to take the blame for these extremists anymore; we must call them out for what they are."

Mr Reddy's brother-in-law has been flown back to India, where he is being kept in a coma having suffered serious injuries to his head, chest and spine.

WHD travels globally, working closely with political and institutional leaders to build dialogue and relationships between communities.

Mr Syed founded the organisation as a response to the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby in 2013 near his barracks in Woolwich.

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks in Sri Lanka, and investigators are looking into the extent of their direct involvement with the local radicalised Muslims.