Secretary of State Colin Powell has telephoned his Indian counterpart, Foreign Secretary Jaswant Singh, to discuss Tuesday's drive-by shooting at the U.S. cultural center in Calcutta that left five Indian policemen dead.
The attack occurred before any of the American staff members had reported for work Tuesday morning. And officials here are unsure if it was directed against the U.S. facility or the policemen from India's West Bengal state who normally patrol outside.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Secretary Powell called Mr. Singh to pledge full cooperation with India's investigation, and to express U.S. sorrow over the injuries and loss of life:
"He wanted to express, first of all, our sincere condolences to the families of those who were killed and to the governments of India and the State of West Bengal," stressed Mr. Boucher. "He also expressed our hope for the speedy recovery of the injured and furthermore our thanks to the Indian government for the efforts they have made to protect our facilities."
Mr. Powell just back from an overseas trip that included stops in India and Pakistan also spoke by phone Tuesday with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to follow up on efforts to ease tensions between the South Asian powers.