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India China border dispute news: 20 Indian army soldiers die in China’s worst clash in 53 years | India News

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NEW DELHI: Twenty Indian soldiers, including a colonel, were killed and several more seriously wounded in a violent physical skirmish with Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley region of eastern Ladakh on Monday in a massive escalation of the continuous military confrontation at the top. altitude since early May even though no bullets were fired.

Indian casualties could increase further as several soldiers were wounded in clashes that lasted for several hours until midnight, while some are still missing. Apparently, some Indian soldiers were also taken captive by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), who were present in much larger numbers and armed with iron rods and studded stone during the protracted fight, but were later released after talks. high level military.

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“Our radio and other interceptions indicate that there were 43 casualties in the ranks of the EPL, which include both the dead and the seriously wounded. The situation is fluid on the ground, but there has been no shooting yet, “said a source. A statement from the Indian Army said that Indian and Chinese troops have been disconnected in the areas of Galwan where they clashed on the night of June 15-16.

India China border dispute news: 20 Indian army soldiers die in China's worst clash in 53 years | India News

The PLA violated the withdrawal commitment, we will defend the borders: India

India blamed China directly for starting violent clashes in the Galwan Valley on Monday night, which caused casualties on both sides and a serious escalation of hostilities with deaths for the first time since Tulung La in 1975, when India lost more than 10 men in a fight with China. troops. India rejected the accusation that the Indian troops had acted provocatively.

The Indian casualties, the first since Chinese soldiers killed four Assam Rifles Jawans in an ambush at Tulung La in Arunachal Pradesh in October 1975, are a major setback for bilateral ties after high-level discussions between Indian military leaders and Chinese that resulted in a de-escalation plan.

India China border dispute news: 20 Indian army soldiers die in China's worst clash in 53 years | India News

Defiant China confirms losses but remains silent

A defiant China blamed India for the violent confrontation in LAC, saying Indian troops illegally crossed the border twice and launched “provocative attacks.” While the Chinese Foreign Ministry did not mention any victims on its part, an EPL spokesman said there were “serious clashes and casualties.” A prominent Global Times editor confirmed the casualties, but none gave figures.

The bloody clashes struck a blow to the ties that were seen to improve after two “informal” summits between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping in 2018 and 2019. After the 1962 war, the bloodiest clash had place in Nathu La in 1967, where more than 80 Indian soldiers gave their lives, while some 400 Chinese soldiers were killed.

On Tuesday, China blamed India for provoking the clash, a charge that India rejected, saying the violence occurred when Chinese troops refused to honor the downscaling plan.

Sources said the skirmish was triggered by Chinese soldiers, who, after initially backtracking a little, re-erected a “temporary post” near “Patrol Point 14 (PP-14)” on the Indian side of the Galwan region. throughout LAC on Monday morning

PLA soldiers suddenly attacked the small contingent of Indian troops led by Colonel B Santosh Babu after they were challenged for ignoring the phasing-out agreement that rival commanders threw to the ground.

In the ensuing “all for all” fight that started at night and continued until around midnight, rival soldiers attacked and chased each other, and many fell into the Galwan Creek in the area located at an altitude of more than 14,500 feet with steep ravines and gorges.

Colonel Babu, commander of the 16th Bihar Regiment who had led the withdrawal talks with his Chinese counterpart in the area, and two other soldiers, Havildar K Palani and stocks Kundan Kumar Ohja, were killed on the spot.

“The other 17 Indian soldiers who were seriously injured in the line of duty at the standstill and exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the high-altitude terrain then succumbed to their injuries, bringing the total death toll in action to 20,” he said. the Army, in an official statement Tuesday night.

“The Indian army is firmly committed to protecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation,” he added.

Sources said that although the confrontation on the north bank of Pangong Tso remained at a standstill, the phase-out in Galwan and Hot Springs had been agreed to in several rounds of talks, including that between the Army Corps commander, Lieutenant General Harinder Singh and southern Xinjiang South. Chief of Military District, Major General Liu Lin, on June 6.

Colonel Babu and his team were stationed at PP-14, one of three fighting sites in the Galwan Valley and Gogra-Hot Springs area, to monitor the withdrawal of PLA troops about 5 km east to their “Post-1” within its own territory.

Additional Indian troops rushed forward after seeing their commanding officer fall to the ground when attacked, while the EPL also brought in more reinforcements for what turned out to be an extended skirmish.

The PLA further increased the gamble on Tuesday morning by accusing “aggressive” Indian troops of violating their “border lines” and claiming “sovereignty” over the entire Galwan Valley region, which India had considered its territory and had largely settled in recent years. .

While Indian officials criticized the “totally false claims”, the commander of the Leh-based Infantry Division 3, Maj. Gen. Abhijit Bapat, also had some conversations with his PLA counterpart in an attempt to cool the situation among the rival troops.

Times of India

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