New Delhi: At least 44 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans were killed and several others injured in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday when a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into the bus they were travelling in. The Pakistan-based JeM claimed responsibility for dastardly attack in Lethpora. (ALSO READ – Pulwama Terror Attack: Here’s How World Condemned Dastardly Act)Also Read - Terrorist Linked to Jaish-e-Mohammed, Tasked to Kill Nupur Sharma, Arrested: UP Police

A 12 member team of National Investigation Agency (NIA)- led by an IG rank officer – will go to the blast site on Friday to assist the Jammu and Kashmir Police in forensic evaluation of the spot. The Cabinet Committee on Security will be meeting at 9:15 AM on Thursday to analyse the events of Wednesday and deliberate on the future course of action. Home Minister Rajnath Singh will also be visiting the militancy-hit state to take view of the situation. Also Read - Another Migrant Labourer From Bihar Shot Dead In Targeted Killing in Jammu and Kashmir's Bandipora

Meanwhile, Pakistan termed the Pulwama terror attack “a matter of grave concern”, while strongly rejecting Indian media and government’s allegations of the country’s link to the strike “without” probe. Also Read - Terrorists Who Killed Kashmiri Pandit Rahul Bhat And TV Actor Amreen Bhat Gunned Down in J&K's Budgam

Releasing a statement, the neighbouring country said, “We strongly reject any insinuation by elements in the Indian media and government that seek to link the attack to Pakistan without investigations.” In a tweet, country’s Foreign Officce spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said, “We have always condemned heightened acts of violence in Valley.” (ALSO READ – Politicos Condemn Dastardly Attack)

Hitting back, India asked Pakistan to stop supporting terrorists and dismantle terror infrastructure operating from its soil. Th country also strongly reiterated its appeal to all members of the international community to support the proposal to list terrorists, including JeM chief Masood Azhar, as a designated terrorist under the 1267 Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council, and to ban terrorist organisations operating from territories controlled by Pakistan.

Earlier on Thursday, JeM had released a video clip of the suicide bomber, identified as Adil Ahmad Dar, from Kakapora in Pulwama who joined the outfit in 2018. “My name is Adil, I joined the Jaish e Mohammad a year ago. After a year’s wait, I have got the chance to do what I joined the Jaish for… By the time this video reaches you, I will be in heaven… this is my last message for the people of Kashmir,” the terrorist can be heard saying in the video.

The vehicle was blown up on the Srinagar-Jammu highway in Awantipora area of the district at around 3:15 PM, a police official said.