News: Starting from the afternoon of June 16, reports have come in of a violent hand-to-hand clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers at the disputed border in the Himalayas. An Indian Army officer and two soldiers were killed by Chinese troops.
Here are the components of the story:
- Army sources told the Daily Telegraph the death toll after the intense fighting in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh stood at 13. They reported 32 Indian soldiers had been captured and handed back, and that four were still missing.
- While the Indian army said three were dead, including a colonel, there was no official confirmation of those figures.
- One tweet from a senior reporter at the pro-Beijing Global Times in China suggested five of their troops had been killed, and eleven injured, but that remained unconfirmed.
- This is the first time in decades that there have been casualties among the armies on both sides because of the border conflict.
- A senior Indian Army officer said that more than 20 Indian soldiers had also been captured and many might still be in Chinese custody.
- These fatalities have reportedly been caused by hand to hand combat and the use of stones and batons. The military forces of India and China generally do not carry arms to the Line of Actual Control, the conflicted territory, in order to foster diplomacy and and avoid fatalities.
- India and China have been facing-off for over a month after Chinese troops crossed the so-called Line of Actual Control on May 5 and 6 to occupy over 60 kilometres of Indian territory at four locations – Pangong Tso, Galwan River, Demchok and Hot Springs.
- The Indian Army has published a revised statement regarding the clash, stating that there were casualties on both sides, while A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said that its troops had acted in self-defence after two Indian soldiers had crossed into Chinese territory on Monday: “provoking and attacking Chinese personnel, resulting in serious physical confrontation between border forces on the two sides.”