Casualties Reported in First Deadly Clash on China-India Border in Decades
What’s New: Clashes between Chinese and Indian troops along the countries’ border in the Himalayas caused injuries and deaths Monday night, China’s military spokesman said.
“Indian troops violated the consensus of the two countries and illegally crossed the border control line in Galwan valley,” said Colonel Zhang Shuili, a spokesman at China’s western battle zone command. “(The Indian side) deliberately launched provocative attacks and triggered fierce physical conflict between the two sides, resulting in casualties,” Zhang said in a statement, without elaborating.
Indian army spokesman Colonel Aman Anand said earlier that there were “casualties on both sides” in the Monday clash, including deaths of three Indian soldiers. Anand said no firing took place during the encounter and officials were meeting to defuse the situation. The Indian army later updated that a further 17 soldiers "who were critically injured in the line of duty at the standoff location and exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain have succumbed to their injuries."
What’s More: The deadly conflict was the first in more than four decades between Chinese and Indian troops at the border, the world’s longest unmarked frontier. The China-India border stretches nearly 3,500 kilometers, including parts through rough terrain high in the Himalayas and disputed portions.
The uptick in tensions followed weeks of military standoff between the two countries. Talks between officials of the two armies and at the diplomatic level were held recently to ease the tensions.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian Tuesday urged India to “restrict front-line soldiers and avoid unilateral moves that will complicate the border situation.”
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