Candidate Reaction: Bombing in Islamabad
Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain issued statements on the terrorist attack in Pakistan today, in which, our colleague Pamela Constable reports, "a massive explosion ripped through a luxury hotel in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad ... killing at least 60 people and engulfing the building in flames."
Said Obama: "I strongly condemn the tragic terrorist attack in Pakistan, and my thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.
"Today's attack demonstrates the grave and urgent threat that al Qaeda and its affiliates pose to the United States, to Pakistan, and to the security of all nations. As the attack earlier this week on our embassy in Yemen shows, over seven years after 9/11, the terrorist threat knows no borders, and the terrorists threaten innocent civilians of all religions and regions. Now is the time to refocus our efforts on defeating al Qaeda and securing the American people.
"Today's attack also reminds us once again that the Pakistani people have suffered greatly at the hands of terrorists, and are endangered by the violent extremists operating within their borders. We must forge a deep and lasting partnership with Pakistan, and with nations around the world, to root out and destroy al Qaeda and its affiliates. The United States must lead a truly global effort to prevail against al Qaeda and their hate-filled ideology."
Said McCain: "Today's attack on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad is an outrageous act of violence. Cindy and I express our deepest condolences for the loss of life, and our thoughts and prayers are with those hurt or killed in the attack.
"Today's bombing must serve to deepen the resolve of Americans and Pakistanis alike to aggressively confront those terrorist groups that seek our destruction. While no organization has yet taken responsibility for this act, it is well known that Pakistan faces an enduring threat from violent Islamic extremism. We must work with the elected government of Pakistan to find those responsible, hold them accountable, and diminish their ability to threaten us and our allies in the future. It also serves as one more demonstration of the need for the next President to work closely with our partners and allies in order to counter the dangers posed by radical Islamic extremism."
Posted at 3:38 PM ET on Sep 20, 2008
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