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Washington, Sep 21 (IANS) Members of the US Congress have come down heavily on Sunday’s cross-border terror attack from Pakistan on an army base at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir in which 18 Indian soldiers lost their lives.
"I condemn the horrible terror attack against an Indian Army Base in Uri in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which resulted in the death of 18 Indian soldiers," Senator Mark Warner (Democrat), Co-Chair of the Senate India Caucus said in a statement.
"The terrorists who perpetrated this cowardly act must be brought to justice," he stated.
"I extend condolences to the family and friends of the Soldiers who lost their lives in the attack."
India has blamed the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist group for the early morning attack on the sleeping soldiers. All the four attackers were killed.
Though the JeM is yet to claim responsibility for the attack, it had admitted to its role in the cross-border attack on the Pathankot Indian Air Force base on January 2 this year that left seven Indian security personnel dead.
Congressman Ted Poe (Republcian), Chairman of House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non Proliferation and Trade, described the attack as "the deadliest assault" in Kashmir in over two decades.
"It is a reminder to democracies the world over that terrorism seeks to destroy peace loving societies everywhere," Poe said in a statement.
Stating that though it was not clear which terrorist group was behind the attack, he said one things was certain: "This is just the latest consequence of Pakistan’s longstanding irresponsible policy of supporting and providing operational space for all stripes of jihadi terrorist groups. Pakistan’s reckless behavior in this regard is a serious security risk to its neighbors – and India unfortunately pays the price all too often."
Condemning the attack, "as well as Pakistan’s support for many criminals like the ones who carried it out", Poe said that the US stood firm in its "commitment to our friends in India".
"A threat to democracy in India is a threat to democracy everywhere. And that’s just the way it is," he said
In his statement, Senator Tom Cotton (Republican), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Airland, described the attack as "a cowardly act, one that deserves the strongest condemnation".
"I extend my condolences to the Indian government and to the families of the fallen," he said.
"The United States and India share a vital interest in defending our democracies from the threat of radical Islamic terrorism," Cotton said.
"Both our nations must commit fully to deepening our security partnership so that radical jihadists are defeated and stability in the region is maintained."
Condemning the attack, Congressman Pete Sessions (Republican), Chairman of House Rules Committee, said: "We will not let these attacks affect our united fight against terrorism."
In his statement, Congressman Brad Sherman (Democrat), Ranking Member of House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, said that the attack was "yet another reminder of the threat international terrorism poses".
"I strongly encourage the governments in the region to make every effort to find the terrorists that carried out these attacks and bring them to justice," he said.
"The United States should continue to assist these governments and ensure they can eliminate terrorist threats."