Australia condemns blasts in Bangalore, Ahmedabad

July 28th, 2008 - 12:41 pm ICT by IANS  

By Neena Bhandari
Sydney, July 28 (IANS) Australia Monday strongly condemned the serial bomb attacks in the Indian cities of Bangalore and Ahmedabad, saying that there could be “no justification for the murderous crimes” and reiterated its resolve to be united with India in the fight against terrorism. Extending condolences to the Indian government and the people, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said in a statement: “It is of great concern that India is facing a series of terrorist attacks in its cities which are taking a terrible toll on ordinary people. Australia condemns these atrocities in the strongest possible terms.”

“There can be no justification for these murderous crimes. The deliberate targeting of hospitals where wounded were being treated is particularly abhorrent. Australia and India are united in the fight against terrorism,” Smith added.

He said the Australia government agencies are working with their Indian counterparts to “strengthen bilateral cooperation on counter-terrorism in a number of fields, including intelligence and law enforcement”.

Last month, during India’s External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Canberra, both ministers had agreed to strengthen intelligence cooperation, including on counter-terrorism issues. They had noted the need for practical cooperation in areas such as intelligence, law enforcement, border security and counter-terrorist financing and money laundering.

Multiple blasts in India’s IT hub of Bangalore killed one on Friday; this was followed by 19 synchronised blasts in Ahmedabad on Saturday in which at least 45 people were killed and more than 100 injured.

Condemning the attacks in the “strongest possible terms”, opposition foreign affairs spokesperson Andrew Robb told IANS: “I am appalled at the deliberate and horrific bombings in India over the last few days. The opposition hopes that the Australian government will offer support and assistance to India at this time; particularly any assistance that can be provided from our experienced teams who have worked in the aftermath of bombings in Bali and elsewhere”.

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