Powerful car bombs exploded on August 25th at a crowded shopping bazaar and a popular tourist site in the Indian city of Mumbai, also known as Bombay. Some fifty people were killed and more than one-hundred were wounded. U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Reeker had harsh words for the perpetrators:
"The United States condemns the senseless and cowardly attacks today in Mumbai, India. We hope the perpetrators will quickly be brought to justice. Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke this morning to Indian External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha. . . . The Secretary expressed our outrage at these attacks, and our condolences to the Indian government and to the Indian people."
The victims included Hindus and Muslims. The Mumbai Muslim community strongly condemned the bombings. One Muslim community leader said, "even after the blasts, both Hindus and Muslims were together in the rescue" of bomb victims. “If the aim was to create a distance between the two communities,” he said, “the perpetrators have failed.”
The Mumbai bombings came only a week after terrorists killed more than twenty people in Baghdad and a similar number in Jerusalem. The terrorists’ aim, said President George W. Bush, is “to spread chaos and fear by killing on an ever-widening scale”:
“They serve their cause by sacrificing the innocent. They celebrate the murder of women and children. They attacked the civilized world because they bear a deep hatred of the values of the civilized world.”
The people of India are standing firm against the terrorists. The United States will stand with them.