Washington, Dec 6: The US has strongly condemned the terrorist attacks in Kashmir ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's poll rally, and said it remained firm on its "commitment" to work with India to defeat terrorism in all forms.
"The United States strongly condemns today's (Friday's) terrorist attacks in Kashmir, which claimed the lives of innocent civilians, military, and police personnel," a senior State Department official said.
Kashmir Valley was yesterday rocked by four terror attacks by militants from across the border who stormed an Army camp in Uri leaving 11 security personnel including a Lt Colonel dead and killed two civilians in Tral.
"The United States remains firmly committed to working in close partnership with India to defeat terrorism in all its forms," the State Department in a statement issued last evening. "Our hearts go out to the families of those affected by this deplorable attack," it said.
Earlier in the day, the State Department expressed its concern about any violence in Kashmir adding that its policies on it have not changed. "We are concerned about any violence in Kashmir. Our policy on Kashmir hasn't changed.
We still believe that the pace and the scope and character of India and Pakistan's dialogue on Kashmir is for those two countries to determine," State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf, told reporters.
"Our embassies in both places have raised these types of incidents with their respective host governments and certainly encouraged both to continue working together on the issue," she said.
The attacks and gun battles with security forces which in all left 21 people dead also included a top commander of Pakistan-based terror outfit LeT and seven militants. Srinagar and Shopian were the other two places where the militants struck.
Modi, who will be holding a rally in Srinagar city on Monday, condemned the terror attacks as "desperate attempts" to derail the atmosphere of hope created by the increased voter turnout and saluted the soldiers who laid down their lives for the nation.
Uri, Srinagar, Tral and Shopian goes to polls in Jammu and Kashmir state elections, in the third and fourth phase over the next 10 days.