Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday strongly condemned Thursday's terror attack by the Pakistan-backed Jaish-e-Mohammed in Jammu and Kashmir that claimed the lives of at least 45 CRPF personnel and said that the perpetrators behind the act should be "duly punished".
In a message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Putin said: "Please accept the most sincere condolences in connection with the loss of Indian law enforcement officers in the terrorist act in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
"We strongly condemn this brutal crime. The perpetrators and sponsors of this attack, undoubtedly, should be duly punished."
Putin reiterated Russia's "readiness for further strengthening counter-terrorist cooperation with Indian partners".
"In Russia, we share the grief of friendly people of India and hope for speedy recovery of the injured," he said.
In the worst ever terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir since militancy erupted in 1989, a suicide bomber rammed his SUV packed with explosives into a CRPF bus on the Srinagar-Jammu highway in Pulwama district, killing at least 45 troopers and leaving the security establishment stunned.
JeM claimed responsibility for the horror and released a video clip of the suicide bomber, a 'commander' identified as Adil Ahmad Dar, which it claimed was shot before the young man carried out the strike in Lethpora.
Putin's message on Friday came separately after the Russian Embassy here issued a statement on Thursday saying it "condemns in the strongest terms the horrific terrorist attack".
"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 Embassy statement said.