Three Indian soldiers killed in hand-to-hand fighting on Chinese border
An Indian army truck crosses Chang la Pass near Pangong Lake in the Ladakh region, India. Indian and Chinese soldiers are in a bitter standoff - AP
Three Indian soldiers were killed by Chinese troops in hand-to-hand clashes in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh last night as the risk of full-blown war increased.
Another 34 Indian soldiers are also missing - presumably dead or captured - high-ranking sources from the Indian army said to the Telegraph, although the government has not confirmed this.
A tweet from a high-ranking reporter from the Pro-Beijing Global Times in China indicated that five of their troops had been killed and eleven injured, but this remained unconfirmed.
His editor Hu Xijin wrote on Twitter: "As far as I know, the Chinese side also suffered losses in the physical clash in the Galwan Valley. I would like to say to the Indian side that it is not arrogant and sees China's reluctance as weak. China does not want a clash with India have, but we're not afraid. "
They are the first victims of an Asian superpower on their 3,488 km border since 1975.
Chinese and Indian troops do not normally carry weapons on the line of actual control to avoid death or diplomatic escalation from tensions, and the clashes with stones and batons are believed to have taken place.
India and China have been facing each other in Ladakh, Kashmir for over a month after Chinese troops crossed the so-called line of actual control on May 5 and 6, to cover over 60 kilometers of Indian territory at four locations - Pangong Tso, Galwan River Occupy Demchok and Hot Springs.
India and China have been facing each other in Ladakh, Kashmir (AFP) for over a month
The Indian army has released a revised declaration on the clash, which says that there were victims on both sides.
"During the de-escalation process in the Galwan Valley yesterday [Monday], there was a violent struggle with victims on both sides," the Indian army said. "The loss of life on the Indian side includes an officer." and two soldiers. "
A foreign ministry spokesman said his troops defended themselves after two Indian soldiers entered Chinese territory on Monday: "Chinese personnel provoke and attack, causing serious physical confrontation between the border forces on both sides." It added that it "solemnly demanded that the Indian side strictly hold back the front troops" and "maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas".
A nameless Indian officer told Agence France Presse that no shots were fired and the deaths were the result of "violent hand-to-hand brawls".
A former Indian officer told the telegraph that it was difficult to determine who was to blame at the time due to contradicting statements from both sides.
"The Chinese side has made aggressive declarations and the Indian side has taken a defensive position," he said.
“We don't know how these soldiers were killed because of contradictory statements. However, we can say that the aggressive tone indicates that China will not withdraw and that a defensive melody means that India does not want an escalation. They [people's liberation army] are aggressive, they will not withdraw. "
The Indian army has announced that talks between the two military are underway to ease tensions, and it will hold a press conference later today.
In this file photo dated October 16, 2016, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the front and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands with the leaders at the BRICS summit in Goa, India
Last week, the Telegraph revealed that at least 12,000 Chinese troops had occupied 60 square kilometers of Ladakh, which is administered by India, in response to India's ever closer relationship with the United States.
The Chinese armed forces were able to cross the border and annex unprotected areas after India failed to resume patrols due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
India and China waged the Sino-Indian war and agreed a ceasefire in 1962 that introduced a line of actual control that separates Ladakh-controlled India from China-controlled Tibet.
It has been an uncomfortable ceasefire for decades, and troops from both sides occasionally engage in fist fights.
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