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Bush calls wounded widow of slain missionary

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) -- President Bush Tuesday telephoned the widow of an American missionary slain in the Philippines during a rescue attempt and expressed his condolences, the White House said.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Bush phoned Gracia Burnham, who along with her husband Martin Burnham was held hostage by Muslim rebels for a year until the rescue attempt last week by Philippine troops. Mrs. Burnham was shot in the leg during the incident.

"The president this morning spoke to Mrs. Burnham and expressed his condolences at the loss of her husband's life in the Philippines," Fleischer told reporters on the Air Force One flight carrying Bush to Kansas City, Missouri.

Bush said afterward Burnham was "a pillar of strength." The Burnhams were from Wichita, Kansas.

Last week, commenting on the incident, Bush said he had been assured by Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo that the Muslim group responsible for the kidnapping would be held accountable.



 
 
 
 







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