NEW DELHI: The suicide attack on a bus ferrying Indian paramilitary personnel on Thursday that has claimed at least 40 lives in Kashmir has drawn international condemnation.
The US, France, Russia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives were among the first to slam the attack.
“The U.S. Mission in India strongly condemns today’s terrorist attack in Jammu & Kashmir. We send our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims. The United States stands alongside India in confronting terror and defeating it," US ambassador to India Kenneth Juster said in a Twitter post.
Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wikremesinghe in a Twitter post voiced similar sentiments calling the Pulwama attack the worst since 1989.
“I strongly condemn the brutal terrorist attack in Kashmir's Pulwama district — the worst ever terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir since 1989. I express my condolences to @narendramodi and the families of police officers who lost their lives" Wikremesinghe said.
Nepal’s Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli in a telephone call to Prime minister Narendra Modi condoled the deaths of the security personnel.
Bhutan’s foreign ministry in a statement posted on Twitter said its government was “Shocked and saddened to hear of the dastardly terrorist attack in Kashmir, which has resulted in the loss of 30 precious human lives. We strongly condemn this heinous attack and express our solidarity with the families of the victims, and the people and Government of India."
Maldives foreign minister Abdulla Shahid in a letter to his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj expressed “deep shock and horror" at the attack.
"It was with deep shock and horror that I learnt of the bomb blast in Pulwama, Kashmir, that caused tragic loss of life and distress to many dozens of CRPF personnel. The Government and the people of Maldives join me in condemning this cowardly act of terror" Shahid said in his message posted on Twitter.
“The Maldives is fully committed to the fight against terrorism and will continue to work closely with India, and the international community in eliminating this global menace," he added.
The French foreign minister Yves Le Drian in his message posted on Twitter said he “condemned the attack in India".
“I express my condolences to the bereaved families and my profound solidarity with the government and the people of India," Le Drian said, adding that “France had always stood by India in its fight against all forms of terrorism." He called on “all states to fight effectively against terrorist networks and the channels of finance and also prevent the cross border movement of terrorists like the Jaish-e-Mohammed."
The Russian embassy in a statement said it “condemns in the strongest terms" the horrific terrorist attack in Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
“We denounce terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and reiterate the need to combat these inhuman acts with decisive and collective response without any double standards," the Russian statement said.
Israeli ambassador to India Ron Malka in a Twitter post said “Israel strongly condemns the terror attack in #Pulwama and stands by our Indian friends during this difficult hour. We send our deepest condolences to the CPRF and their families, the people of India and the Indian government following the terrible #KashmirTerrorAttack."
US House Foreign Relations Committee chairman Republican Eliot Engel in a Twitter post “strongly" condemned “the terrorist attack in India’s Jammu and Kashmir state today and send my condolences to the families of the victims. Countries must not allow terrorist groups like Jaish-e-Mohammed to operate with impunity."