Obama, US government, UN chief voice support for India against terrorism (Roundup)

November 27th, 2008 - 8:13 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Nov 27 (IANS) US president-elect Barack Obama joined the American government in strongly condemning Wednesday’s series of “horrific attacks” in Mumbai and asked Washington to work with India to root out and destroy terrorist networks worldwide.Condemning the series of attacks in the Indian finacial capital, the State Department said the US stands ready to support the Indian authorities in dealing with the situation, while the White House said it was seeking more information.

“We are monitoring the situation very closely and stand ready to support the Indian authorities as they deal with this horrific series of attacks,” the State Department said in a statement.

Obama, who takes office Jan 20, quickly weighed in. “President-elect Obama strongly condemns today’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai,” Brooke Anderson, his spokesperson on national security, said in statement.

“These coordinated attacks on innocent civilians demonstrate the grave and urgent threat of terrorism,” she said.

“The United States 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.”

The White House also denounced the attacks. “We condemn these attacks and the loss of innocent life. We continue to seek more information,” said Ben Chang, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council.

President George W. Bush, who left earlier to spend this week’s Thanksgiving holiday at the presidential retreat at Camp David, was briefed on developments in Mumbai, the White House said.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was closely monitoring the situation, a State Department official was quoted as saying by the US media.

“The secretary will be reaching out to officials at the US embassy in New Delhi and at the consulate in Mumbai. She will be reaching out to Indian government officials as well. The situation on the ground is extremely fluid,” the official said.

The State Department has created a call centre for Americans seeking any information on relatives or friends affected by the attacks. The number is 1-888-407-4747.

At this point, it was not aware of any American casualties in the attacks, in which scores of people were killed and hundreds wounded.

At the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voicing his solidarity with India’s government and its people said, “Such violence is totally unacceptable.”

“The secretary-general reiterates his conviction that no cause or grievance can justify indiscriminate attacks against civilians,” a statement by his spokesperson said Wednesday. He also called for the perpetrators of the attacks to be brought to justice.

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