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India Says U.S. Confirms Support Following Deadly Kashmir Bombing


Indian paramilitary soldiers stand by the wreckage of a bus after an explosion in Pampore in Indian-controlled Kashmir on February 14.

U.S. national-security adviser John Bolton has spoken by telephone with his Indian counterpart, Ajit Doval, and expressed U.S. support in combating terrorism.

The February 16 conversation came two days after an extremist attack on a military convoy in the disputed Kashmir region left 44 paramilitary police dead.

A Pakistan-based extremist group, Jaish-e Mohammad (JeM), claimed responsibility for the attack, raising tensions between India and Pakistan. New Delhi has called on Pakistan to do more to combat cross-border terrorism and to crack down on JeM.

"The two NSAs vowed to work together to ensure that Pakistan ceases to be a safe haven for JeM and terrorist groups that target India, the U.S., and others in the region," an Indian Foreign Ministry statement said.

"They resolved to hold Pakistan to account for its obligations under UN resolutions," the statement concluded.

Pakistan has condemned the attack and denied complicity in it.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi blamed Islamabad for the attack in comments on February 15, promising a "crushing response."

"Our neighboring country thinks such terror attacks can weaken us, but their plans will not materialize," he said.

The same day, Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the country was withdrawing most-favored-nation trading status for Pakistan and considering further diplomatic measures "to ensure the complete isolation from the international community of Pakistan."

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP
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