August 4, 2020

India soldiers killed in clash with Chinese forces

Three Indian soldiers have been killed in a clash with Chinese forces in Ladakh in the disputed Kashmir region.

The deaths are the first in the disputed border area in at least 45 years, and follow rising military tensions between the nuclear powers.

The Indian army said senior military officials from both sides were “meeting to defuse the situation”, adding that both sides suffered casualties.

An Indian army spokesman said the dead were one officer and two soldiers.

In a statement released on Tuesday, India’s Ministry of External Affairs accused China of breaking an agreement struck the previous week to respect the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Galwan Valley.

According to the Indian statement, “a violent face-off happened as a result of an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally change the status quo there”.

China did not confirm any casualties, but accused India in turn of crossing the border onto the Chinese side.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said India had crossed the border twice on Monday, “provoking and attacking Chinese personnel, resulting in serious physical confrontation between border forces on the two sides”, AFP news agency reported.

Local media outlets reported that the Indian soldiers were “beaten to death” but there was no confirmation from the military. China’s Global Times newspaper reported that “solemn representations” had been made with India over the incident.

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