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US Says It Stands With India in Fighting Terrorism


Indian paramilitary soldiers order commuters to turn back during a security lockdown in downtown Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir, March 1, 2019.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale in Washington Monday and told him that the United States stands with India in fighting terrorism.

After their meeting, the State Department said the two discussed the importance of bringing to justice those responsible for a suicide attack on an Indian paramilitary convoy claimed by Pakistan-based militants.

The State Department said the diplomats spoke of "the urgency of Pakistan taking meaningful action against terrorist groups operating on its soil."

Last month, a suicide bomber killed 40 Indian paramilitary troops in a convoy in the disputed Kashmir region.

A Pakistan-based militant group known as Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibly for the violence in Pulwama district.

New Delhi has vowed to punish Islamabad for sheltering the militants, saying the Indian army chief has been given a "free hand" to take whatever action is required.

Pakistan rejects Indian charges of playing a role in the February attack and maintains the militant group has long been outlawed as part of counter-extremism measures.

Both India and Pakistan have equipped their militaries with nuclear weapons since they last went to war in 1971, raising fears that a future conflict could escalate into a nuclear exchange.

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