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 Bush calls Singh to offer support, condolences

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PostSubject: Bush calls Singh to offer support, condolences   Fri Nov 28, 2008 10:52 pm

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush telephoned Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday to offer support and express his condolences after the attacks in Mumbai that killed at least 119 people.

"The president offered support and assistance to the government of India as it works to restore order, provide safety to its people and comfort to the victims and their families, and investigate these despicable acts," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said in a statement.

Three U.S. citizens were injured in the attacks, according to the State Department, which advised Americans to avoid traveling to Mumbai for the next few days and urged those already there to keep a low profile and vary routines.

Bush was receiving regular updates from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who joined him and his wife, Laura, at the Camp David presidential retreat just outside Washington for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.

For a second day, members of the White House National Security Council and counterterrorism and intelligence community officials met to review the situation as well as actions underway and that could be taken to address the attacks in India, Perino said.

"U.S. officials will continue to cooperate and work together with Indian officials to focus on this ongoing situation," she said. The State Department said Americans appeared to be among those specifically targeted.

Police have said that at least six foreigners were killed and 315 people were wounded in the attacks, responsibility for which was claimed by an unknown group calling itself the Deccan Mujahideen.

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama, who takes office on January 20, has also condemned the attacks and was closely monitoring the situation. He spoke with Rice on Thursday morning to get an update, according to one of his aides.


(Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky and Kim Dixon in Washington and Ross Colvin in Chicago; Editing by Chris Wilson)
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