Bharat Bhushan, spokesperson for India’s Ministry of Home Affairs, told CNN Friday that 37 soldiers had died, with five wounded. Earlier reporting from CNN affiliate News 18 had the death toll at 40 but has since revised down to 37.
The convoy, which was transporting members of the Central Reserve Police Force, was on the national highway when it was struck by a blast from an improvised explosive device, said Munir Khan, director general of police.
“One vehicle which was part of the convoy carrying the CRPF personnel bore the brunt of the blast resulting in multiple casualties,” a police statement said.
The Indian government has blamed a Pakistan-based terrorist organization for the attack. “This heinous and despicable act has been perpetrated by Jaish-e-Mohammed,” India’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
“The Government of India is firmly and resolutely committed to take all necessary measures to safeguard national security. … We demand that Pakistan stop supporting terrorists and terror groups operating from their territory and dismantle the infrastructure operated by terrorist outfits to launch attacks in other countries.