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Rice urges global response to Mumbai attacks

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Pakistani leaders today that a global response was needed to defeat terrorism as she visited Islamabad in a bid to defuse tension with India.

world Updated: Dec 04, 2008 14:28 IST

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Pakistani leaders on Thursday that a global response was needed to defeat terrorism as she visited Islamabad in a bid to defuse tension with India.

Rice held a series of meetings here after her hastily arranged trip in the wake of last week's attacks in Mumbai that saw 188 people killed and rattled ties between the nuclear armed South Asian rivals.

India has blamed "elements" in Pakistan for the attacks on targets that included two luxury hotels, a Jewish centre, a popular cafe, a packed railway station and a hospital.

"We all need to respond globally," Rice told Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, while also praising Pakistan for its role in combating terrorism.

"I do want to thank you for the leadership role that you have taken," Rice said. "It is clear that Pakistan is fighting its fight against terrorists. We are all of one group, all of us," she added.

Pakistan was quick to condemn the Mumbai attacks and has offered joint investigations and pledged to take action against any individual or group found involved in the assault that brought worldwide condemnation.

India has said that all 10 attackers involved in last week's carnage, including the sole gunman captured alive, came from Pakistan and has demanded Pakistan hand over 20 terror suspects.

The controversy has threatened to derail a slow moving four year-old peace process between the South Asian rivals who have fought three wars, two of them over disputed Kashmir state, since gaining independence from Britain in 1947.