Bush, Obama monitor developing situation in Mumbai

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Washington, Nov 26 (UNI) US President George W Bush and President- elect Barack Obama, who continue to monitor the situation in Mumbai, have promised all help to India in dealing with terrorism.

''The President was informed (about last night's terrorist attacks in India's financial capital) at the Presidential retreat in Camp David, about 60 miles from here, and will be kept updated,'' White House Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto said.

''We will continue to seek more information,'' he added.

Mr Obama called Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last night to get an update and status report on the situation in Mumbai.

Later, Mr Obama, in a telephone call, told India's Ambassador to the US Ronen Sen that he was monitoring the situation and had been in communication with Ms Rice.

Mr Obama also told the Indian envoy that ''his thoughts and prayers are with the people of India and those affected by this tragic situation.'' The US State Department said Ms Rice is planning to reach out to Indian officials.

''We are monitoring the situation very closely and stand ready to support the Indian authorities as they deal with this horrific series of attacks,'' US State Department's Deputy Spokesman Robert Wood said.

He also said, ''at this point, we are unaware of any American casualties.'' Earlier, the White House issued a statement saying it convened a meeting yesterday of top intelligence and counter-terrorism officials as well as those of the State Department and Pentagon to discuss the attacks.

It said Mr Bush has offered his condolences to the Indian people and the families of the innocent civilians killed and injured in the attacks.

The US government ''continued to monitor the situation, including the safety and security of our citizens, and stands ready to assist and support the Indian government,'' the White House statement said.

It added, ''Mr Bush has been updated regularly (about the situation).'' Mr Obama's chief national security transition spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said, ''The US must continue to strengthen our partnerships with India and nations around the world to root out and destroy terrorist networks.'' ''We stand with the people of India, whose democracy will prove far more resilient than the hateful ideology that led to these attacks,'' she said.

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