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Obama Pledges US Support in Wake of Uganda Attacks


U.S. President Barack Obama told Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Monday that the United States will provide whatever support his government requests in the investigation of the twin bombings on Sunday that killed 74 people.

The president's pledge came in a telephone call with the Ugandan leader after the bombings in the Ugandan capital Kampala that killed dozens of people at two locations.

"The president called Ugandan president Museveni this morning and expressed his sincere condolences for the loss of life and offered to provide any support or assistance that the Ugandan government requests," said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs. "The leaders reaffirmed their shared commitment to working together to combat terrorist organizations that threaten innocent civilians around the world."

Gibbs said U.S. assistance so far involves participation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A spokesman for the Somali militant group al-Shabab, which has links to al-Qaida, says the group is responsible for the attacks, which occurred as World Cup fans watched the final matched on television.

The al-Shabab official said the attacks were revenge for Ugandan participation in the African Union peacekeeping operation in Somalia.

Asked about the claim, White House spokesman Gibbs noted that al-Shabab had threatened Uganda's people and government in the past over Uganda's peacekeeping role.

Saying that there has been no definitive conclusion as to who is responsible for the blasts, Gibbs said the attacks send a clear message.

"What they seek to destroy, and who they seek to kill - innocent people, just as the continent of Africa, just as the country of South Africa shows the world what it had built - I think speaks volumes to the hateful motives of those that history will judge as looking only to destroy and to kill, rather than to build," he said.

Among those killed in the apparent suicide explosions were an American aid worker, who was at one of the targets, an Ethiopian restaurant in the Ugandan capital.

President Museveni and his government have received pledges of support from several world leaders in the wake of the attacks.

Uganda has some 4,000 troops serving in the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia.

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