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US leaders condemn attack on Mumbai
Aziz Haniffa in Washington, DC
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July 11, 2006 23:25 IST
Last Updated: July 12, 2006 05:24 IST

Leading US leaders have strongly condemned Tuesday's multiple terrorist attacks on Mumbai's commuter rail network.

'I join my fellow New Yorkers and Americans in mourning the tragic loss of life suffered as a result of the reported train bombings in Mumbai, India,' Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (Democrat, New York) said in a statement. 'My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and the people of India.  We will stand with you as you recover and rebuild.'

The co-chair of the Friends of India Caucus in the Senate said 'As in London [Images] and Madrid, today's attack in Mumbai reminds us of our vulnerability to attack and our shared responsibility to safeguard our people, including through improvements in infrastructure and transportation systems.

'These brutal attacks should strengthen our shared resolve to combat terrorism and bring those responsible for the senseless loss of life to justice.'

'I wish to express my personal solidarity with the victims of this sickening, heartless attack and their families, along with the people of India as a whole,' said US Congressman Tom Lantos of California, the ranking Democrat on the House International Relations Committee.

'As we in the US Congress are moving ahead with efforts to change the geo-strategic pact with India, we now have fresh incentive to forge even closer ties,' Lantos, an active member of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, noted.

'Should the Indian government ask for assistance with the investigation, I call on the United States government to underscore the importance of these ties by committing every available resource to get to the bottom of this latest outrage,' Lantos continued.

'As in the United States, the United Kingdom and other democracies, it is a tragic outcome of the civilised world's struggle with terrorism that the world's largest democracy should be subjected to such attacks. This is far from the first such incident in India. Let it be the last,' the senior lawmaker added.

US Congressman Eliot Engel, another active member of the India Caucus and senior member of the House International Relations Committee, echoed Lantos' remarks.

'Once again the horror of terrorism has struck, this time during rush hour in Mumbai. India and the United States are the largest and oldest democracies in the world, but, tragically, we are also targets of the world's most deadly terrorists,' Engel said.

'Let us stand with India during this dark hour,' he said, and extended his deepest sympathies to the people of India.

'They will have our support as they rebuild, recover, and take steps to prevent future acts of terrorism,' he added.

US Ambassador to India David Mulford -- who is visiting Washington, DC for consultations with members of the US Congress to push for quick action in both Houses to enable legislation to conclude the India-US civilian nuclear agreement -- was on the phone to both New Delhi and Mumbai to ascertain the fate of US consulate employees in Mumbai who may have been returning home by train.

US State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack, noting that there had been terrorist attacks in Srinagar [Images] and Mumbai on the same day, said, "We condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms. Many have lost their lives and many more were injured. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have lost loved ones or friends or relatives in these attacks and we wish a speedy recovery to all of those who were injured."

"We have been touch with the Indian Government concerning these attacks and, of course, we will offer any assistance that they might request," he added. 

Congressman Joe Wilson, condemning the blasts, said, "While terrorists claim to pursue a lofty purpose, their cowardly attacks against civilians demonstrate that they are monsters motivated by evil and the destruction of life."

"By targeting innocent people in India, these mass murderers have reminded the world of their inhumanity and the importance of defeating terrorism throughout the globe," he said.

Senator John Cornyn, chairman of the Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee and co-chairman of the Senate's India Caucus, said, "The attacks on India's commuter rail system today are reprehensible.  We grieve with the Indian people and extend our deepest sympathies to those affected by this tragedy.

"Terrorists � enemies of freedom � will stop at nothing in their efforts to disrupt freedom and democracy, and today's events serve to remind us that the war on terror continues.  But such acts of terror will not go unanswered � America will stand firmly beside India as it works to bring these terrorists to justice."

Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-Queens & the Bronx), member of the House International Relations Committee and former Democratic co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, also condemned the 'horrific terrorist attack' in Mumbai and promised the support of Congress.

'Today, we have seen the gruesome images from Mumbai after a coordinated terrorist attack targeted commuter trains during the busiest time of day as thousands of ordinary people made their way home in India's busiest city,' Crowley, one of the lawmakers who has been instrumental in pushing the Indo-US nuclear deal, said.

The National Federation of Indian American Associations, an umbrella organization of various community groups, also condemned the Mumbai blasts and called on the government to do all in its power to apprehend those responsible.

"Terrorism has never accomplished any political goals except to create chaos, disrupt the daily routine of people and take innocent lives of men, women and children," NFIA president Rajen Anand said.

The Maryland-based Association of Indian Muslims in the United States also joined other community organizations in condemning the serial blasts in Mumbai.

Its president Kaleem Kawaja, in a statement, said, 'On behalf of 150,000 Indian Muslims who live in the US, the Association of Indian Muslims of America condemns in the strongest terms the horrible bomb blasts in many suburban trains in Mumbai. We express our very deeply felt sorrow at the untimely death of so many Indians, and the inuring of many others in this horrible terrorist act.'

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