Indian and Chinese troops in deadly border clash

This article is more than 12 months old

NEW DELHI: Three Indian soldiers were killed in a violent face-off on the Chinese border, the Indian army said yesterday, following weeks of rising tensions and the deployment of thousands of extra troops from both sides.

Brawls erupt regularly between the two nuclear-armed giants across their disputed 3,500km frontier, but no one has been killed in decades.

But the Indian army said there were "casualties on both sides" in Monday's incident on the Himalayan frontier between China's Tibet and India's Ladakh region, although Beijing made no mention of any - while laying the blame squarely on Delhi.

An Indian army officer in the region said there had been no shooting in the incident, on precipitous, rocky terrain in the strategically important Galwan Valley. "It was violent hand-to-hand scuffles," the officer said on condition of anonymity.

Beijing yesterday confirmed a clash took place, but made no mention of casualties. It accused Indian soldiers of crossing into Chinese territory and "attacking Chinese personnel".

Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Indian troops "crossed the border line twice... provoking and attacking Chinese personnel, resulting in serious physical confrontation between border forces on the two sides".

"We again solemnly request that India... restrains its front-line troops," he said.

On May 9, several Indian and Chinese soldiers were injured in a clash involving fists and stone-throwing at Naku La in India's Sikkim state, which borders Bhutan, Nepal and China. - AFP