Three Indian soldiers die in clash with Chinese troops in Kashmir
According to an Indian army statement, both sides suffered losses. A Chinese government spokersperson reported that Indian troops violated Chinese territory, but did not say if China suffered casualties.
Delhi (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Three Indian soldiers died yesterday in a violent clash with Chinese troops in the Kashmir, along the de facto border between the two countries.
In a statement, the Indian army said that the incident took place during the "de-escalation process in the Galwan valley,” an area between Indian-administered Ladakh and Chinese-administered Aksai Chin.
In the past few weeks, the two countries had been concentrating troops on their side of the border, before senior military commanders held talks earlier this month.
India said that both sides suffered losses without mentioning the number of Chinese casualties. Senior military officers from both sides are meeting to defuse the situation.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Indian troops crossed the frontier twice on Monday. He added that India was guilty of "provoking and attacking Chinese personnel, resulting in serious physical confrontation between border forces on the two sides."
“The Chinese side has lodged a strong protest and solemn representation to the Indian side, urging it to strictly restrain its frontline troops according to the consensus, and not cross the borderline and make any unilateral movement that could complicate the border situation,” Zhao said.
“China and India have agreed to resolve bilateral issues through talks and contribute to the easing of tensions and maintaining peace and tranquility in border areas," he added.
Zhao did not say whether there were Chinese casualties and Chinese military authorities have been silent whether their side also suffered damages.
Tensions have began increasing last month in the Himalayas along one of the world's longest land borders, with New Delhi and Beijing accusing each other of crossing the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that separates the territories of the two nuclear powers.
The area has long been disputed, with several military clashes and diplomatic rows following the war of 1962. The Line of Actual Control extends from Chinese-controlled Aksai Chin to the rest of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region. A provisional border was established after the 1962 war, but neither side agrees to where it is.