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New Delhi: All Indian troops on border duty always carry arms, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday as a response to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who asked on Twitter why soldiers were sent "unarmed to martyrdom" in Galwan Valley.

The minister said armies of the two sides do not use firearms as per provisions of two bilateral agreements sealed in 1996 and 2005.

"Let us get the facts straight. All troops on border duty always carry arms, especially when leaving post. Those at Galwan on 15 June did so. Long-standing practice (as per 1996 & 2005 agreements) not to use firearms during faceoffs," tweeted Jaishankar as a response to Rahul Gandhi's question.

"By killing the unarmed soldiers of India, China has committed a big mistake. I want to ask who sent them unarmed towards the danger and why, who is responsible?" Rahul Gandhi said in a video message.

His remarks came soon after he questioned the government over the killing of 20 Indian soldiers by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) in an unprecedented attack in Ladakh's Galwan Valley and asked why soldiers were sent "unarmed" to martyrdom.

"How dare China kill our unarmed soldiers? Why were our soldiers sent unarmed to martyrdom?" Rahul Gandhi asked the government in a tweet on Thursday.

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