BANGKOK, Thailand – World leaders on Sunday condemned the bombing of an Indonesian nightclub that killed 188 people and called for an escalation in the fight against terrorism.
Australia, Britain, France, and the European Union joined the United States in offering to help investigate the bombing at Bali's Kuta Beach. The dead and injured included Australians, Germans, Canadians, Britons, Swedes, Swiss and South Africans as well as Indonesians, officials said.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard said he will launch an urgent review of national security.
"It is not an occasion for hotheaded responses, but certainly not an occasion to imagine that if you roll yourself up into a little ball all these horrible things will go away," Howard told Australian television's Channel Nine.
Howard, a staunch supporter on the U.S.-led war on terrorism, added: "The war against terrorism must go on with unrelenting vigor and an unconditional commitment."
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed his "utter condemnation" of all indiscriminate attacks on civilians, saying they "cannot be justified by any cause or ideology."
"Such tragic events underscore the importance of cooperation by all states in the struggle against terrorism," Annan said in a statement issued by his spokesman in New York.
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw offered to send forensic and counterterrorism specialists to Indonesia, and French President Jacques Chirac said France would offer "all possible help to help identify the perpetrators of these vile acts and bring them to justice."
In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp., Straw called the attackers "the most evil and most perverted people who think that some political aim of theirs can be achieved by attacking mainly young people who are enjoying themselves and also in turn contributing a great deal to the Indonesian economy."
The 15-nation European Union also offered investigative help, urging Indonesian authorities "to spare no efforts in finding and bringing to justice the perpetrators."
Russian President Vladimir Putin called for more international cooperation against international terrorism.
"We should have only one conclusion: The vital necessity of an uncompromising truly general struggle everywhere with this evil of the 21st century," he said in a condolence message to Howard.
In a message to Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri, Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi said the bombing "confirms the need to continue the common fight against terrorism until it is defeated."
Malaysia and the Philippines, neighbors of Indonesia that share its problems with violent Muslim extremists, also denounced the bombing.
"Whatever the reason might be, terrorist actions should be condemned," Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was quoted saying by the Bernama state news agency.
Philippine Foreign Secretary Blas Ople ordered Philippine embassies worldwide to take precautions. A small bomb also exploded Saturday outside Manila's consulate in the central Indonesian city of Manado on Sulawesi island, causing minor damage but no injuries.
"We denounce these attacks on our consulate and the other bombing incidents in Bali," Ople said.
President Bush said the investigation must "bring these murderers to justice."
"The world must confront this global menace [of] terrorism," he said in a statement issued by the White House. "We must together challenge and defeat the idea that the wanton killing of innocents advances any cause or supports any aspirations."