An attack Thursday on a military convoy in Jammu and Kashmir where India has been battling an insurgency killed 44 paramilitary troops. It was the worst in decades and comes just months before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalists face a tight general election.

Modi has promised a strong response to the car bombing which his government blamed on Pakistan, ratcheting up tensions with the nuclear-rival.

At the heart of the dispute is Kashmir which has been divided between nuclear-armed Indian and Pakistan since 1947 but is claimed in full by both.

The two nuclear-armed neighbours have waged two wars over Kashmir.India is estimated to have up to 500,000 troops stationed in the region.

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