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India pledges 'heavy' response to Kashmir attack that killed over 40 soldiers

Graphic: VOA

A suicide bombing in Kashmir killed almost 40 Indian policemen on Thursday, with India's prime minister pledging those behind the attack will pay a "very heavy price".

The attack occurred in the heavily guarded Srinagar-Jammu highway around 20km from the main city Srinagar in Kashmir. A car carrying 300-350kg explosives struck a bus carrying Indian paramilitary soldiers, killing 44 and injuring several others. The attacker is suspected to be Adil Ahmad Dar, who was known to the Indian security forces and reportedly joined the Pakistan based militant organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed, who have claimed responsibility for the attack..

This was the deadliest militant attack on Indian forces in Kashmir since the insurgency against Indian rule began in 1989.

JeM has been linked to al-Qaeda and was responsible for an attack on Indian parliament in 2001.

Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said that JeM was "Pakistan-based and Pakistan-backed" and Arun Jaitley, the Finance Minister, threatened that those responsible would face an "unforgettable lesson for their heinous act".

Pakistan rejects the allegations that it was responsible for that attack and claims it was a matter of “grave concern”. 

On Twitter, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “I strongly condemn this dastardly attack. The sacrifices of our brave security personnel shall not go in vain. The entire nation stands shoulder to shoulder with the families of the brave martyrs.” This follows India’s call for international sanctions against JeM leader, Masood Azhar.

Read more here, here and here.