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White House condemns terrorist attack in India

By Darryl Coote
The White House condemned the terrorist suicide attack in India that left more than 40 military personnel dead. Photo by Farooq Khan/EPA-EFE
The White House condemned the terrorist suicide attack in India that left more than 40 military personnel dead. Photo by Farooq Khan/EPA-EFE

Feb. 20 (UPI) -- The White House reaffirmed its condemnation "in the strongest terms possible" of last week's suicide bomb attack in India, offering its support for the country in its fight against terrorism.

"We're committed to working with the Indian government to combat terrorism in all of its forms," U.S. Department of State spokesman Robert Palladino said Tuesday in a regular press briefing.

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On Feb. 14, a vehicle loaded with explosives drove into an Indian military convoy in the disputed Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, killing more than 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel.

Not long after the attack, Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility, and India laid blame for the attack at the feet of its neighbor, vowing to isolate the country diplomatically. Pakistan has denied any involvement with the attack.

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On Tuesday, Palladino said the White House is calling on all countries "to uphold their responsibilities pursuant to the United Nations Security Council resolution to deny safe haven and support for terrorists."

He later elaborated that freezing assets without delay is one arrow in the quiver to deny terrorists safe haven.

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He also said that since the "heinous act" the White House has been in frequent contact with India not only to offer condolences but to offer "strong support."

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"We have a close cooperative relationship with India, a security relationship, and that includes counterterrorism operations," he said.

The White House had also been in contact with Pakistan and urged them to fully cooperate with an ongoing investigation into the attack and support the punishment of those responsible.

U.S. President Donald Trump also told reporters Tuesday that he was aware of what happened in India calling it a "horrible situation" and that his office will release comment "at an appropriate time."

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