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Bombings 'senseless and cowardly': US
Aziz Haniffa in Washington D C |
August 25, 2003 20:12 IST
Last Updated: August 26, 2003 01:32 IST
The United States has publicly condemned the twin bomb blasts in Mumbai that killed 46 people and injured over 150 as 'senseless and cowardly terrorist attacks'.
State department's deputy spokesman Philip Reeker said, "We hope the perpetrators will be quickly identified and brought to justice."
"Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke this morning to Indian External Affairs Minister
Yashwant Sinha about the bombings, which killed dozens of innocent people and injured many others," he said. "Secretary Powell expressed our outrage at the attacks and our condolences to the Indian government and people and to the families of the victims."
Senior administration sources told rediff.com that Powell had informed Sinha that the US stood ready to assist India 'in any way we can' and offered to immediately render any assistance necessary.
The sources, however, acknowledged that it was 'too early' for any such assistance and would also depend on any requests made by India.
They added that neither Sinha nor any other official has sought any assistance. "Normally, we do these types of things when we are asked. So that would depend on the Indian government," one source said.
The sources added there had been no reports about any American casualties or injuries.
Earlier, Powell had called Sinha immediately after news of the twin blasts in Mumbai reached the US government.
He expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and condemned the blasts.
Condemning the bomb attacks in Mumbai, Britain emphasised the importance of the global community taking firm action to deal with international terrorism.
British Foreign Minister Jack Straw, who spoke to Sinha, said this was a scourge, which needed to be tackled and fought with determination.
He said if Britain could be of any assistance in this regard, it would be glad to do so, an external affairs ministry spokesman said.
Expressing his condolences, Straw said his thoughts and sympathies go out to the families and friends of those killed and injured.
"This emphasises yet again the importance of the international community taking firm action to deal with the poison of international terrorism," he said.
Germany Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer in a telegram to Sinha said, "This criminal attack fills us with horror."
Expressing his sympathies, he said, "We share the Indian people's shock and sadness. Our thoughts in these difficult hours are with those who lost family members and friends."
Deploring the attack, Pakistan foreign office spokesman said in Islamabad, "Civilians have been targeted in the blasts. We condemn all such attacks. All attacks targeting civilians should be condemned."
China also condemned the bomb blasts.
In a letter to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said he was 'shocked to learn that serious explosions took place' in Mumbai resulting in heavy casualties.
"I express condemnation against it. I wish to, on behalf of the Chinese government and the Chinese people and in my own name, extend profound condolences to you and through you to the deceased as well as sincere sympathy to the injured and the bereaved," said the letter whose copies were released by the Chinese Embassy in Delhi.
With inputs from PTI