WASHINGTON President George W. Bush said on Saturday he had been closely monitoring developments in India in the wake of deadly militant attacks in Mumbai and offered words of support for the Indian people.
"The killers who struck this week are brutal and violent. But terror will not have the final word. The people of India are resilient. The people of India are strong," Bush said at the White House.
The attack by militants began on Wednesday night with gun and grenade attacks and ended on Saturday with nearly 200 people dead.
The State Department said on Friday that five U.S. citizens had been killed. It issued a new travel alert for India on Saturday, warning of heightened security concerns in that country after the attacks and urging Americans to exercise caution when visiting there.
Bush said he spoke on Saturday morning with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice about the attacks in a video conference that also included U.S. diplomats in India.
"We reviewed the latest developments and we are working to ensure that American citizens in India are safe," Bush said.
"We pledge the full support of the United States as India investigates these attacks, brings the guilty to justice and sustains its democratic way of life," Bush said moments after arriving by helicopter on the south lawn of the White House. Bush spent Thanksgiving at the presidential retreat of Camp David.
Indian security personnel killed four militants early on Saturday, ending the siege in which gunmen attacked Mumbai's top two luxury hotels, its biggest railway station and several other symbols of India's financial might.
Bush said he was keeping President-elect Barack Obama apprised.
(Reporting by Patrick Rucker; Editing by Peter Cooney)