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U.S. anti-terror campaign will be 'comprehensive'

Those behind Monday's suicide bombing in Kashmir have links to al Qaeda, India says
Those behind Monday's suicide bombing in Kashmir have links to al Qaeda, India says  

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States has said its campaign again terrorism will not stop at the al Qaeda network, but will target militant groups world-wide, including those affecting India.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, at a meeting with his Indian counterpart Jaswant Singh, expressed his condolences for the victims of Monday's suicide car bombing at Kashmir's state assembly in Srinagar.

The attack, which India has blamed on Pakistan, killed at least 35 people and is the latest incidence of violence in India's only Muslim-majority state.

"This clearly was an act of terror," Powell said after the meeting.

"We are going after terrorism in a comprehensive way, not just in the present instance of al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, but terrorism as it affects nations around the world, to include the kind of terrorism that affects India," he said.

U.S. President George W. Bush said last month that the campaign against terrorism will target all terrorist groups with a global reach in response to the September 11 attacks.

Up until now, the al Qaeda network led by Osama bin Laden has been the only group identified by the U.S. administration.

Singh told CNN it was inevitable that the United States would be forced to address terrorism in India.

"I think the U.S. has no option. You cannot fight terrorism, you cannot address one manifestation and leave the other alone," he said.

'Part of the problem'

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India continues to blame Pakistan for sympathizing with militant extremist groups operating in the Indian-ruled part of Kashmir. Tens of thousands of people have died since a separatist uprising began in 1989.

Pakistan and India have also fought two of their three wars over Kashmir.

The tension that still exists between both nations is a thorn in the side for the U.S. as it seeks to establish a global coalition.

Pakistan and India have both given the U.S. their support in its anti-terror campaign.

But India has its doubts about the U.S. seeking support from Pakistan, accusing the predominantly Muslim nation associating itself with terrorist groups.

"Of course I wish the United States of America good luck when they attempt to convert the problem into the solution, but let there be no confusion about the essentials of the situation. Pakistan is part of the problem," Singh told reporters.

"What ostensibly, purportedly, is military assistance to Pakistan for a specific purpose, a pattern with which we are entirely familiar, finds its way for the barrels to turn themselves towards India," he said.

CNN's Sushasi Haider reports on a terror bombing in disputed Kashmir that killed at least 25 people (October 1)

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Monday's suicide bombing in Kashmir came a day after Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf said that Pakistan was not harboring any terrorist organizations.

Islamic militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad in a statement claimed responsibility for the attack before retracting the claim.

In an interview with CNN, Singh said Jaish-e-Mohammad and other groups operating in Kashmir were "directly a byproduct of al Qaeda".

"They are operating as terrorist groups in India, not just in Kashmir. We know they have linkages in Pakistan. These are for us the realities, the facts of life," Singh said.

Running out of patience

Meanwhile, in New Delhi, Minister of State for External Affairs Omar Abdullah said that India was running out of patience with Pakistan, the Times of India reported.

He said Pakistan's support of Kashmiri militants was a contravention of the new U.N. Security Council resolution condemning terrorism.

Omar said that India has reserved the right to take whatever action it finds necessary to deal with the situation in Kashmir, though ruled out direct action in Pakistan operated Kashmir.

He reiterated Singh's claim that there was a direct relationship between the Jaish-e-Mohammad group and al Qaeda.

Omar also said the international community should take action against terrorists operating in Jammu and Kashmir, the Times of India reported.


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