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Indian and Chinese forces clash on disputed Himalayan border

Indian and Chinese forces have clashed along their disputed border – the first such incident between the two nuclear powers since deadly confrontations in 2020.

They clashed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), a disputed border that separates the two Asian countries high up in the Himalayan mountain range.

Indian troops prevented Chinese soldiers from entering Indian territory on Friday during a border scuffle that led to injuries on both sides, India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday.

But China blamed India for the incursion, accusing Indian troops of “illegally” crossing the border to “block” a routine patrol by Chinese border soldiers.

“We urge the Indian side to strictly control and restrain the frontline troops, and work with China to maintain peace and security on the border,” a spokesperson for China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said.

The incident occurred in the Tawang sector of India’s northeastern Himalayan state of Arunachal Pradesh, which borders southern China and is also claimed by Beijing.

Soldiers on patrol from both sides came face-to-face at one of the peaks there and in an ensuing hand-to-hand fight, some soldiers fell on the rocky surface and injured themselves, an Indian defence source told Reuters news agency.

Indian and Chinese forces clash on disputed Himalayan border© Sky

Two other sources said around half a dozen Indian soldiers suffered minor injuries.

Mr Singh told Indian politicians: “These are skirmishes that keep happening, and they are not major. This was not major.”

He said the scuffle led to “injuries to a few personnel on both sides” but that there were no “serious casualties on our side”.

“PLA troops tried to transgress the LAC in the Yangtse area of Tawang Sector and unilaterally change the status quo,” he said.

“The Chinese attempt was contested by our troops in a firm and resolute manner. The ensuing face-off led to a physical scuffle in which the Indian Army bravely prevented the PLA from transgressing into our territory and compelled them to return to their posts.

“The Chinese side was asked to refrain from such actions and maintain peace and tranquillity along the border.”

The issue has also been taken up with China through diplomatic channels, he added.

Twenty Indian soldiers and four Chinese troops died after fatal clashes on the disputed border in June 2020.

They were the first fatalities between the two sides for decades, with both sides accusing the other of incurring on to sovereign territory.

Until then, the 2,360-mile frontier between the two nations had stayed largely peaceful since a war in 1962.

Source: News.sky.com

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