At least 20 Indian soldiers have been killed in clashes on the border between China and India.
The incident comes at a time when border tensions between the two countries have been simmering for weeks and additional troops have been deployed by both sides.
Initially, India announced the deaths of three soldiers, including an officer, but the Indian military later confirmed the deaths of 20 soldiers.
It is the deadliest clash in decades between the two nuclear-armed countries, as no casualties have ever been reported in the conflict.
According to the French news agency ‘AFP’, a statement issued by the Indian Army on Tuesday said that 17 more soldiers who were injured while performing their duties could not bear the injuries due to extreme cold at high altitudes. The death toll has risen to 20.
The Indian military says the incident took place in the Gulwan Valley area of Ladakh, just off Tibet.
On the 3,500-kilometer-long border, there are constant clashes between the armies of the two nuclear-armed countries on a regular basis.
Earlier, the Indian military said there were casualties on both sides, but China did not confirm any casualties or injuries and blamed India.
A spokesman for the Indian Army had said that violent clashes took place on Monday night which resulted in casualties on both sides, with the Indian Army losing one officer and two soldiers.
The spokesman said senior military leaders from both sides were present at the scene to ease tensions.
An Indian officer stationed in the area told AFP that there was no shooting and that the Indian officer killed was a colonel.
The officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said no shots were fired, no weapons were used, and violent clashes took place.
On the other hand, China confirmed the incident and accused India of crossing the border and attacking Chinese officials.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Xiao Lijian said Indian troops had twice crossed the border, provoked and attacked Chinese personnel, resulting in a standoff between the two sides’ border forces.
Tensions between the nuclear-armed nations have escalated since May and thousands of troops have clashed, with experts warning that any confrontation could lead to a major crisis in the region. ۔
On May 9, Indian and Chinese troops clashed and pelted each other with stones, injuring several soldiers.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement last week that it had agreed to resolve the recent border dispute through effective diplomatic and military means.
A statement issued by the Indian Foreign Ministry later said that the two sides would continue effective military and diplomatic contacts to resolve the situation and ensure peace in the border areas.
But sources and Indian news agencies indicate that the areas occupied by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in recent weeks, India has given up and decided to give them to China.
Areas occupied by the People’s Liberation Army include Lake Pan Gong Tsou in the north and the strategically important Gluan Valley