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Bush: Two soldiers 'will not have died in vain'

President Bush talked to reporters in Shanghai on Saturday
President Bush talked to reporters in Shanghai on Saturday  

From John King
CNN Washington Bureau

SHANGHAI, China (CNN) -- President Bush said Saturday the two U.S. soldiers killed in a helicopter accident in Pakistan "will not have died in vain," and they died for a cause that is "just and right."

The Pentagon said Friday that two U.S. military personnel were killed in a helicopter accident in Pakistan as they worked to support the ground operation.

The president said his "heart goes out" to the friends and families of those killed.

Bush spoke to reporters before attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Shanghai. He did not comment about the Friday night raid in Afghanistan by U.S. Special Operations forces.

He said his attendance at the summit was a critical step in the international campaign against terrorism.

In his weekly radio address broadcast Saturday morning in the United States, Bush said he was in China "continuing to enlist the resources of the civilized world in our war against terrorism."

He said he was talking with other governments on how to improve intelligence gathering, freeze terrorist money and better track down terrorist groups.

"We're also discussing ways to better protect all our citizens from a new threat, the threat of bioterrorism," he said.

Speaking of the anthrax cases that have hit the United States, Bush said there was no evidence at this time linking them to the September 11 attacks. Yet he added, "We do know that anyone who deliberately delivers anthrax is engaged in a crime and an act of terror, a hateful attempt to harm innocent people and frighten our citizens."

He said that the United States was "making very good progress" in disrupting and degrading the military capabilities of Afghanistan's ruling Taliban regime.

The White House announced the president would cut short his visit to Shanghai by several hours to get back to Washington. Bush will leave Sunday night after a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

White House officials said there was no urgent reason for the change in plans but that the president prefers to head back to Washington immediately instead of Monday morning.


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