The death toll from a car bombing on a paramilitary convoy in Indian-controlled Kashmir has climbed to 41, becoming the single deadliest attack in the divided region's volatile history, security officials said Friday. A local Kashmiri militant rammed an explosive-laden van into the convoy along a key highway Thursday. In addition to the dead, the attack wounded nearly two dozen other soldiers, India's paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force spokesman Sanjay Sharma said. The attack is ratcheting up already hostile tensions between India and Pakistan, who both administer parts of the disputed territory but each claim it entirely. India has blamed Pakistan for supporting the bombing, while Islamabad cautioned India not to link it to the attack, the AP reports.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised a "crushing response" Friday, and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that New Delhi will take all possible diplomatic steps "to ensure the complete isolation from international community of Pakistan of which incontrovertible evidence is available of having a direct hand in this gruesome terrorist incident." Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said the country condemns acts of violence anywhere in the world, and denied any involvement. The US, however, specifically singled out Pakistan in its statement condemning the attack, calling for the country to "end immediately the support and safe haven provided to all terrorist groups operating on its soil."
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