Bush promises continued support to India in fighting terrorism

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Washington, Nov 29 (UNI) US President George W Bush offered continued support to India in its fight against terrorism in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

''We will continue to cooperate against these extremists who offer nothing but violence and hopelessness,'' Mr Bush said in a statement issued last night to express sorrow at the reported death of three US citizens in Mumbai.

Mr Bush said he was deeply saddened and the US was working with the Indian government to ensure the safety of those American citizens still under threat in Mumbai.

President-elect Barack Obama fully supported the Bush administration's efforts to protect US citizens in India.

He said, in a statement, that the US must stand with India and all nations and people who are committed to destroying terrorist networks, and defeating their ''hate-filled ideology.'' At least three Americans were killed and more were at risk at two venues -- the waterfront Taj Mahal Hotel and a Jewish community centre -- where Indian security operations were in progress, the State Department said.

The Department's acting spokesman Gordon Duguid said the Mumbai attacks had prompted a flurry of US diplomatic activity, with both Mr Bush and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice telephoning Indian leaders to offer condolences and US assistance in the investigation.

The spokesman said Ms Rice spoke on Thursday with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to discuss the situation in general terms. ''She's calling simply because she wants to discuss what's happening very near Pakistan's border,'' he said.

He said Ms Rice went to the Camp David retreat, about 60 miles from here, to brief Mr Bush on the Mumbai situation. She also had two telephone conversations on the subject with Mr Obama.

Earlier, senior Bush administration officials met for further discussions on ensuring all possible help to American citizens affected by these attacks, said White House Spokeswoman Dana Perino.

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