The White House has condemned the latest suicide bus bombing in Jerusalem. President Bush says the Palestinian Authority needs to do more to dismantle violent militant groups.

Spokesman Sean McCormack says the White House condemns the attack in the strongest possible terms.

Mr. McCormack calls it "a vicious act." He says the thoughts and prayers of the American peoples are with the families of the victims and with those who were injured.

The bombing shattered seven weeks of relative calm. In late June, several extremists groups declared a unilateral cease-fire.

President Bush was asked about the cease-fire earlier in the day during a brief session with reporters near his Texas ranch. He said a cease-fire alone would not bring peace to the region. He said it is far more important to dismantle terrorist groups that take innocent lives.

"The ultimate solution, and this can happen quickly, in my judgment, is to find those who believe killing is the best approach to dealing with the very difficult problems in the Middle East," he said.

The president went on to say the Palestinian Authority can count on help from the United States as it goes about this important task.

"I think that the Palestinian Authority needs to continue to work with the United States and others interested in dismantling terrorist organizations, and ask for the help necessary so they can do what they need to do - - which is dismantle and destroy organization which are interested in killing innocent lives in order to prevent a peace process from going forward," he said.

A wing of the militant group Islamic Jihad has claimed responsibility for the latest bus attack. Hamas members have also claimed responsibility, but the organization's leaders say Hamas was not involved.