New Zealand has offered its condolences to India following a bombing in Indian-controlled Kashmir which killed at least 40 Indian police officers.

International news reports say a car packed with explosives targeted a bus carrying 44 paramilitary police in a convoy of 2500 personnel on their way to Srinagar last Thursday.

The attack set off further unrest in the region over the weekend.

Pakistan-based Islamist group Jaish-e-Mohammad has reportedly claimed responsibility for the bombing and the BBC reported India's Home Minister Rajnath Singh as saying the militant group was "Pakistan-based and Pakistan-backed".


The Pakistani Government said it strongly rejected "any insinuation by elements in the Indian media and government that seek to link the attack to Pakistan without investigations".

New Zealand's Foreign Minister Winston Peters today joined an international chorus of condemnation of the attack, which occurred in the Indian-controlled state of Jammu and Kashmir, close to the Line of Control which separates it from the Pakistan-controlled part of the region.

"As a nation New Zealand has always condemned acts of terrorism and does so in this case. We express our support and solidarity for the Government of India at this difficult time as well as deep sympathy for those mourning," Peters said.

"New Zealand wishes to see peace in Jammu and Kashmir. For this reason we also call for dialogue between the relevant parties as the best step to help secure peace and stability," he said in a statement.

The issue of Kashmir is at the centre of a long-standing dispute between India and Pakistan. While both countries claim it, neither controls the entire region.