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US offices attacked in India

Pakistan has rejected Indian allegations that its intelligence service was involved in the bloody attack on US government offices in Calcutta.

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Blood stained the sidewalk outside the American Center in Calcutta.

Four police guards were killed and 20 people wounded in the dawn attack by unidentified gunmen on the American Center in the eastern Indian city of Calcutta. Authorities said the strike was targetted at US interests in India.

Police said four men wearing shawls sped up to the American Center building on two motorcycles at dawn on Tuesday. They refused to stop at checkpoints and shot at police guards who returned fire. The attackers then fled before security forces could react.

The American Center, one of two US government buildings in Calcutta, houses the US Information Agency library, as well as the embassy's public affairs office, the press section and a wing where cultural events are held. No US consular staff was injured in the attack.

Indian Home Minister Lal Krishna Advani said a group involved in kidnapping an Indian businessman had claimed responsibility for the shooting. This group had links with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency, he claimed.

But a Pakistani government spokesman rejected the accusation.

"These are totally baseless charges," Foreign Ministry spokesman Aziz Ahmed Khan told journalists on Tuesday. "As as you know, Pakistan has condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations."

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