An Indian army officer and two soldiers were killed in a “violent face-off” on Monday night with Chinese soldiers at Galwan Valley in Ladakh, in a massive escalation at a time there were efforts to defuse weeks of tension at the border. India retaliated and there were casualties on both sides, said the army. Army sources say the soldiers were not shot but were killed in hand-to-hand combat on Indian Territory. Major Generals of both sides are meeting currently, according to an official statement. This is the first violent incident involving fatalities since 1975 between India and China, who fought a brief border war in 1962.
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The army statement said: “During the de-escalation process underway in the Galwan Valley, a violent face-off took place yesterday night with casualties on both sides. The loss of lives on the Indian side includes an officer and two soldiers. Senior military officials of the two sides are currently meeting at the venue to defuse the situation.”
There was no shootout or gunshot wounds, say sources. “There was no firing. No firearms were used. It was violent hand-to-hand scuffles,” an unnamed officer was quoted by news agency Agence France Presse as saying.
Beijing, in an aggressive statement, accused India of crossing the border, “attacking Chinese personnel”, reported AFP. China’s…