President Bush has deplored the attack on Israeli tourists in Kenya. A group calling itself The Army of Palestine claimed responsibility for the suicide attack.

White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe says President Bush deplores the violence near Kenya's coastal resort of Mombassa, but says it is premature to conclude that it was the work of al-Qaida terrorists.

Mr. Johndroe says Washington is ready to help both Kenyan and Israeli security forces track down those responsible for Thursday's violence.

The U.S. Embassy in Kenya has sent investigators and medical personnel to Mombassa to help in the aftermath of the attack. An embassy spokesman says U.S. army personnel already in the area for joint exercises with Kenyan forces are also on the scene.

Israeli tourists were killed by a suicide bomber shortly after checking into their hotel. An Israeli jet escaped a nearly-simultaneous missile attack, as it took off from Mombassa's airport.

President Bush is at his Texas ranch for the Thanksgiving holiday, but he discussed the attacks with his national security advisor, Condoleezza Rice.

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said the attacks underline the need for global cooperation in fighting terrorism and "come as a sad reminder that no region in the world is immune for terrorist attacks."

Russia, Spain, and Italy all condemned the attack. Germany's foreign minister said the violence was meant to deepen the crisis in the Middle East.

Security forces in neighboring Tanzania stepped-up security at all points of entry, following what President Benjamin Mkapa described as a "terrible catastrophe."

Kenyan Vice-President Musalia Mudavadi said the violence may be linked to al-Qaida terrorists whom the United States blames for the August 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Those nearly-simultaneous attacks killed 225 people, and injured more than 5,000 others.

The group that claimed responsibility for Thursday's violence said it was meant to highlight the cause of Palestinian refugees. The attacks came on the eve of the Jewish religious festival of Hanukkah and the anniversary of the 1947 U.N. resolution leading to the creation of the state of Israel.