India says three soldiers killed in Ladakh 'face-off' with China

Release time:2020-06-16 Publisher:Lanka Voice

Three Indian army personnel, including a commanding officer, have been killed in a "violent face-off" with Chinese soldiers in the Himalayan region of Ladakh, an Indian army spokesman has said.
The Chinese military also suffered casualties in the clash, the editor-in-chief of China's Global Times newspaper said on Tuesday. It was the first such confrontation between the two Asian giants since 1975 in which soldiers have died.
The incident on Monday night followed weeks of rising tensions and the deployment of thousands of extra troops from both sides in the region.
"During the de-escalation process underway in the Galwan Valley, a violent face-off took place yesterday night with casualties. The loss of lives on the Indian side includes an officer and two soldiers," the Indian army spokesman said in a statement.
"Senior military officials of the two sides are currently meeting at the venue to defuse the situation," said the statement.
Tensions flare on a fairly regular basis between the two regional powers over their 3,500-kilometre (2,200-mile) frontier, which has never been properly demarcated.
Thousands of troops from the two nuclear-armed neighbours, backed by armoured trucks and artillery, have been involved in the latest face-off since May in the Ladakh region, bordering Tibet.
Indian officials say Chinese soldiers crossed the boundary at three different points, erecting tents and guard posts and ignoring verbal warnings to leave. That triggered shouting matches, stone-throwing and fistfights.
Army officers and diplomats have held a series of meetings to try to end the impasse, with no breakthrough.
Reporting from New Delhi, Al Jazeera's Elizabeth Puranam said the Indian defence minister is expected to meet the defence chiefs and the minister of external affairs later on Tuesday over the matter.
"We have two sides saying they are trying to de-escalate the situation. We've had meetings for about 10 days now and yet these deaths have taken place despite these assurances," she said.

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