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Bring the culprits to book: Bush

By Sridhar Krishnaswami

Washington Aug. 26. The United States President, George W. Bush, has condemned the blasts in Mumbai which have claimed several lives and expressed the hope that those responsible will be identified quickly and brought to justice.

"I strongly condemn the bombings in Mumbai which killed dozens of innocent people and injured many more. Acts of terror are intended to sow fear and chaos among free peoples. I hope that the perpetrators of these murders will be identified quickly and brought to justice", Mr. Bush said in a statement.

"On behalf of all Americans, I send condolences to all affected by the tragedy and to the Government and people of India", he said.

The U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, who had talked to the External Affairs Minister, Yashwant Sinha, on Monday morning, condemned the "senseless and cowardly terrorist attacks".

"The United States condemns the senseless and cowardly terrorist attacks in Mumbai. We hope that the perpetrators will be quickly identified and brought to justice," the State Department's deputy spokesman, Philip Reeker, said, noting that Gen. Powell had spoken to Mr. Sinha.

In New York, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, also condemned the blasts. "The Secretary General utterly condemns the terrorist bomb attacks. He is opposed to all acts of terrorism, from whatever quarter. The Secretary General conveys his heartfelt condolences to the Government of India and the bereaved families of the victims of these despicable acts of terrorism," the spokesman for Mr. Annan said.

In Ottawa, the Foreign Minister of Canada, Bill Graham, also condemned the attacks and reiterated the country's commitment to working closely with the international community to eradicate all forms of terrorism.

"Canada strongly condemns this senseless violence directed at innocent civilians. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of those who have been killed and injured," Mr. Graham said.

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