Local media reports said the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed group had claimed responsibility.
The attack took place after a suicide bomber in a Mahindra Scorpio vehicle loaded with 350 kilograms of explosives rammed into a convoy carrying over 2500 CRPF troops on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway. 44 CRPF men were killed and several others seriously wounded were shifted to Indian army's 92 base hospital at Badami Bagh in Srinagar.
Condemning the terrorist attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says that the sacrifice of the courageous security personnel will not go in vain.
A paramilitary official said the bus was carrying at least 35 soldiers.
In one of the worst attacks to hit India's armed forces in almost three years, the vehicle rammed into one of the buses carrying Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Awantipora in the disputed Himalayan region.
Unconfirmed photos showed the charred remains of at least one vehicle littered across the highway as black smoke billowed upwards.
Thousands more have been maimed in recent years by pellet-firing shotguns used by Indian forces.
Adil, if the Jaish claim is confirmed, is only the second Kashmiri suicide bomber to detonate himself, the first being Srinagar's Afaq Shah who had rammed his auto into the army's 15 Corps headquarters in the town in 2000.
"Jaish (Jaish-e-Mohammad) has claimed the blast as a suicide (fidaeen) attack reminiscent of the dark days of militancy pre 2004-05", Abdullah added.
Does anyone really care for the "strong" condemnation or the promise of a "befitting" reply?
The target of that attack was the local Parliament building in Srinagar.
The terrorist attack, which has direct footprints inside Pakistan, poses the first major challenges to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, said Riedel, who is now a scholar at the Brookings Institute think-tank.
The Greater Kashmir newspaper quoted a local news agency as saying a militant rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into the convoy. "By the time this video reaches you, I will be in heaven... this is my last message for the people of Kashmir", Dar said in the video in which he can be seen standing in front of JeM banners, surrounded with rifles and lethal explosives.
Isolated terror strikes may not stop altogether because we know Kashmir is just a ruse and the real aim of the Pakistani establishment is to dismember India.