Tension mounts in Ladakh as China brings in more troops; India maintains aggressive posturingIslamabad, June 17 (KMS): Twenty Indian troops were killed while thirty four others went missing in the violent face-off between Indian and Chinese army personnel in Galwan Valley in Ladakh on Monday night.

Reports quoting unnamed senior Indian Army sources, say that this has not been confirmed by the Indian government. However, the reports say, Indian Army confirmed the killing of its soldiers in the violent face-off.

In a statement, the army said, “During the de-escalation process underway in the Galwan Valley, a violent face-off took place yesterday (Monday) night with casualties on both sides. The loss of lives on the Indian side includes an officer and two soldiers.”

As per reliable sources at least 20 Indian soldiers including a Colonel were killed in the clash. Several dead bodies of the Indian troops including Colonel have been retrieved so far. These bodies include that of Colonel, Santosh Babu, the Commanding Officer of 16 Bihar Regiment, who was killed by drowning. The Chinese soldiers held him under the water till he died.

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

It is to mention here that this is the first violent incident involving fatalities since 1975 between India and China, who fought a border war in 1962. Indian army has also flown several hundred policing gears including pellet guns, rock shields, staffs, elbow and knee guards for future engagement.

The latest bloody incident follows weeks of rising tension and the deployment of thousands of extra troops from both India and China. The standoff between Beijing and New Delhi was triggered by India’s unprecedented construction of roads and air strips in the area. KMS—1M


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