efe-epaSrinagar, India

The Indian Army on Tuesday said Pakistan's main spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, and its army were involved in a recent suicide attack that killed 42 paramilitary troopers in India-administered Kashmir.

Lieutenant General Kanwal Jeet Singh Dhillon, the top army commander in the strife-torn Himalayan state, also said they have eliminated the top leadership of the Jaish-e-Mohammad - the Pakistan-based terror group that claimed the Feb. 14 attack - in the valley.

Without providing any proof for his allegations, Dhillon said the planning and execution of the suicide bombing, the deadliest in the last three decades of Kashmir insurgency, was "controlled from Pakistan with active support of the ISI and the Pakistan Army."

The army commander also refused to share specific details of the probe into the blast and the alleged role of Pakistan's military intelligence agency.

"The JeM is a child of the Pakistan Army, and the ISI. The attack was masterminded by Pakistan, ISI and JeM," he said.

The head of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps, which acts as a nerve centre of all counter-insurgency operations in the disputed region, said the top leaders of the militant group were on the radar of the security forces ever since the attack, which took place on a busy highway, just outside of Srinagar.

"And I am happy to inform the country that in less than 100 hours, we eliminated the JeM leadership in the valley which was being handled by JeM from Pakistan. The details of the terrorists killed are two Pakistani terrorists and one local conduit," the lieutenant general told reporters in Srinagar.

On Monday, an 18-hour-long gunfight at a village in south Kashmir's Pulwama district, barely 10 km from away from the suicide bombing spot, had ended with the death of four soldiers, a policeman, and a civilian and three militants.

The suicide attack has further strained relations between India and Pakistan, who have already fought two major wars and several minor conflicts over Kashmir.

New Delhi claimed it has evidence of Islamabad's involvement in the Pulwama attack and last week had withdrew the most Favored Nation trade status it had accorded to Pakistan in 1996 under World Trade Organization rules.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also warned of a "crushing response" to the attack last week.

Pakistan had rejected India's accusations, saying it has always condemned violence in Kashmir.

The idyllic Kashmir Valley in north India has been battling three decades of an armed rebellion that has left tens of thousands dead and many more injured.

The volatile region is divided into India-administered and Pakistan-administered Kashmir, although both India and Pakistan claim complete sovereignty over the region.

India has repeatedly accused Pakistan of supporting "cross-border terrorism" in Indian Kashmir and of sheltering terrorist groups to operate on its territory and plan attacks against Indian targets.