3 Soldiers Killed In Face-Off With China, "Casualties On Both Sides"
Indian and Chinese soldiers have been locked in a standoff for weeks
Here are 10 developments in this big story:
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 has accused India of crossing the border, 'attacking Chinese personnel', reported AFP. China's Foreign Ministry said India should not take unilateral actions or stir up trouble, reported Reuters.
Chinese Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters, according to AFP, that Indian troops crossed the border twice on Monday, "provoking and attacking Chinese personnel, resulting in serious physical confrontation between border forces on the two sides". Beijing has lodged "strong protests and solemn representations" to Delhi, he claimed.
According to sources in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office, his scheduled meeting with Chief Ministers via video conferencing on COVID-19 will be held as per the plan.
Indian and Chinese soldiers have been locked in a standoff for weeks at Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie in eastern Ladakh. A significant number of Chinese army personnel even transgressed into the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control or the de-facto border in several areas including Pangong Tso.
After weeks of face-off including an incident in which patrolling soldiers from the two sides came to blows on the banks of Pangong Lake, resulting in injuries, friction eased following talks. Indian and Chinese military commanders had been in talks in Galwan Valley area and Hot Springs.
The Chinese Army had earlier pulled back its troops from the Galwan valley, PP-15 and Hot Springs in Eastern Ladakh area. The Indian side also brought back some of its troops and vehicles from these areas.
China has been reportedly upset about the Indian construction of roads and air strips in the area.
After years of neglect Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has pushed for improving connectivity and by 2022, 66 key roads along the Chinese border will have been built. One of these roads is near the Galwan valley that connects to Daulat Beg Oldi air base, which was inaugurated last October.