The blast took place on the heavily guarded Srinagar-Jammu highway about 20km from the main city in Indian-administered Kashmir, Srinagar. Pakistan-based Islamist group Jaish-e-Mohammad said it was behind the attack. According to the Press Trust of India news agency reported that at least 44 people were dead.
The official said the death toll might increase because dozens were “critically injured” after the powerful explosion, which took place at about 15:15 local time (09:45 GMT). The terrorists were driving a car carrying between 300 and 350kg of explosives struck a convoy of about 70 vehicles that was carrying about 2,500 troops to the Kashmir Valley.
Two blue buses carrying around 35 people each bore the brunt of the massive blast, heard miles away, around 20 km from the city of Srinagar on the main highway to Jammu. At least 40 Indian paramilitary police have been killed in a bomb attack by militants on their convoy in Indian-administered Kashmir.
Police told that a car filled with explosives had rammed a bus carrying the troops to Srinagar. It is the deadliest militant attack on Indian forces in Kashmir since the insurgency against Indian rule began in 1989.
After the attack, hundreds of government forces cordoned around 15 villages in the district the bomber came from and started searching house-to-house, a police officer and witnesses said.
New Delhi accuses Pakistan of fuelling the insurgency that has also left tens of thousands of civilians dead and which has become increasingly bitter in recent years.