India-China clash: Two sides blames each other for deadly fighting
China and India have accused each other of provoking fighting in which at least 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a disputed Himalayan area.
The Indian army said that both sides suffered casualties, but there has been no word on numbers from China yet.
Tuesday’s battle was reportedly fought with rocks and clubs. However, no shots were fired.
The Indian army said a number of its troops “were critically injured in the line of duty”.
The statement goes on to note that the injured soldiers were also “exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain “.
- An extraordinary escalation ‘with rocks and clubs’
Monday’s confrontation in the Ladakh region was the first deadly clash in the border area in at least 45 years.
India said China had tried to “unilaterally change the status quo”. Beijing accused Indian troops of “attacking Chinese personnel”.
The two armies later held talks to try to defuse tensions.
Early on Tuesday, the Indian army said three of its soldiers had died in a clash in Ladakh, in the disputed Kashmir region.
It later said that “17 Indian troops who were critically injured in the line of duty” and died from their injuries, taking the “total that were killed in action to 20”.
Both sides insist no bullet has been fired in four decades, and the Indian army said on Tuesday that “no shots were fired” in this latest skirmish.
How a clash that did not involve an exchange of fire could prove so lethal is unclear, but local media outlets reported that the Indian soldiers had been “beaten to death”.
What have both sides said about the incident?
India’s external affairs ministry accused China of breaking an agreement struck the previous week to respect the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said the clash arose from “an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally change the status quo” on the border.
China did not confirm the number of casualties, but accused India in turn of crossing the border onto the Chinese side.
“The arrogance and recklessness of the Indian side is the main reason for the consistent tensions along China-India borders,” read an editorial in the Chinese state-run Global Times on Wednesday.