China’s state-run Global Times reported that five Chinese People’s Liberation Army soldiers were killed and 11 injured in the clash with Indian troops
This is the first time in 45 years that troops of both sides have reported casualties during a face-off
NEW DELHI :
NEW DELHI: Tensions along the Line of Actual Control between India and China have spiked with an Indian army officer and two soldiers killed in the Galwan area of Ladakh, the Indian army said in a statement on Tuesday.
This is the first time in 45 years that troops of both sides have reported casualties during a face-off.
News reports also said that some Indian soldiers were also missing after a “violent faceoff" between Indian and Chinese troops.
China’s state-run Global Times reported that five Chinese People’s Liberation Army soldiers were killed and 11 injured in the clash with Indian troops. Mint could not immediately confirm this.
According to Deependra Singh Hooda, former general officer commanding in chief of the Northern command, under which Ladakh falls, the last time casualties were reported on the 3,488 kilometre Line of Actual Control between India and China was in Tawang area in Arunachal Pradesh in 1975.
The dead on the Indian side after Monday night’s clashes in Ladakh included a colonel ranked officer, a junior commissioned offer and a soldier.
Talks at the level of divisional commanders were underway between the two sides to cool tensions, the Indian army said in a statement.
“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. Senior military officials of the two sides are currently meeting at the venue to defuse the situation," the Indian army statement said.
This statement was later amended to add that there were “casualties on both sides".
According to news reports, the Chinese side has lodged a strong protest with India over the matter. China foreign ministry, asked about Indian army reporting casualties in clash, said calls on India to not take unilateral actions or stir up trouble, a Reuters report from Beijing said.
According to the Indian Army, there was no firing between the two sides.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh met senior military officers in New Delhi including the chief of defence staff Bipin Rawat to review the situation, a person familiar with the matter said. The meeting was also attended by Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar, who is a former Indian foreign secretary and a former Indian ambassador to China.
Monday's events show that the "situation is extremely serious," whether or not shots were fired, Hooda said. "It does not mitigate the loss of a commanding officer and two others, he added.
Senior military officers had met on 6 June to defuse tensions between the two countries that were first sparked last month. The two officers had agreed on de-escalating tensions and talks between officers at the level of major generals, brigadiers and colonels were underway to ensure a pullback of troops amassed by both sides along the LAC.
On Saturday, Indian army chief Manoj Mukund Naravane had said a series of meetings between military commanders of India and China had resulted in a lot of disengagement and assured that the situation along the border was under control.
"I would like to assure everyone that entire situation along our borders with China is under control. We're having a series of talks which started with Corps Commander level and has been followed up with meetings at local levels between commanders of equivalent ranks," Naravane had said.
"As a result, a lot of disengagement has taken place and we are hopeful that through the continued dialogue we're having, all perceived differences that we (India and China) have will be set to rest," the general had added.
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