The clash between Indian and Chinese troops occurred in the Galwan Valley and was originally stated to have killed as many as 13 troops. Indian sources have now revised the death toll and claimed at least 20 troops were killed. Editor of The Times of India, Rajat Pandit suggested: “At least 20 Indian soldiers killed in the skirmish with Chinese troops in Galwan Valley region.”
There has been no official comment on this number from Beijing.
The deaths of the troops of the first loss of life in at least 45 years.
Both sides are now meeting to defuse the situation.
The Indian Army released a statement said on Tuesday: “During the de-escalation process underway in the Galwan Valley, a violent face-off took place yesterday Monday night with casualties on both sides.”
WW3 horror: Indian troops massacred by Chinese military (Image: PA)
India-China: India has claimed 20 troops were killed (Image: GETTY)
The casualties come amid months of escalating tensions between the sides along the Line of Actual Control.
Chinese officials also claimed five of their own troops had been killed.
The incident occurred on the border between China’s controlled region and the Indian region of Ladakh.
Indian officials have claimed Chinese troops had encroached in the region and had set up camps and brought in artillery.
India-China: The incident occurred in the northeast of the region (Image
However, troops in the area do not carry weapons and it is understood clashes were carried out with stones and batons.
Both states have been locked in a dispute over their claims to the stretch of mountains.
They also fought a full-scale war in 1962.
Although both sides have tried to pacify tensions, there have been claims ties between the two countries won’t be the same again.
Brahma Chellaney, Professor of Strategic Studies at the New Delhi-based Centre for Policy Research described the fatal escalation as a “watershed moment,” adding: “On a political level, China-India relations will not be the same again.”
China’s commander in the western theatre, Zhang Shuli insisted Indian forces had cross the Line of Actual Control.
Zhang said: “We call on the Indian side to restrict its frontline soldiers, immediately stop all infringement of rights and provocative actions against China and return to using dialogue to resolve disputes.”
Chinese ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijan stated Indian forces had crossed the border twice on Monday.
Largest militaries (Image: Express)
Although it is the first loss of life for some time, some have stated it was merely a minor border dispute.
Professor Phunchok Stodban, a former ambassador who served in the National Security Council Securiat said the incident was probably down to mismanagement of the disengagement process.
He said: “There were no high level commanders involved in this, the instruction was to de-escalate.
“But this tension has been building up for quite some time between the soldiers.
“There were grudges against each other and so I think, on the troop level, both sides have not maturely handled de-escalation.
“I think that despite this incident, de-escalation will continue.”