India-China border: Troops clash in Sikkim | News | DW | 25.01.2021
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India-China border: Troops clash in Sikkim

Violent clashes broke out between Chinese and Indian soldiers on their Himalayan border three days ago, Indian media has reported. It is believed there were casualties on both sides.

An Indian army soldier keeps guard on top of his vehicle

Indian and Chinese troops have repeatedly engaged in small-scale border brawls over the years

Indian and Chinese troops clashed in the northern Sikkim border region on January 20, the Indian army confirmed in a statement on Monday.

The skirmish left soldiers injured on both sides, Indian military officials were quoted as saying by local media.

The Indian army called the scuffle "a minor face-off" which was "resolved by local commanders as per established protocols," the Times of India reported.

India Today reported that Chinese soldiers attempted to cross the Naku La border crossing but were physically blocked by Indian troops.

Some 20 Chinese and four Indian soldiers were injured despite sources saying that no firearms were used.

"Both sides brought in some reinforcements…there were injuries on both sides in the physical clash. But there was no firing. The situation is under control," a source told the Times of India.

The army's statement told the media to "refrain from overplaying or exaggerating reports which are factually incorrect," amid on-going tensions between the two powers.

On-going tensions in the Himalayas

The brawl took place in the region connecting the Indian Sikkim region with Tibet where violence broke out in May last year.

Watch video 02:22

India, China troops engaged in cross-border standoff

In June, soldiers from the world's two most populous countries fought each other with fists and wooden clubs, leaving several dead, in the Galwan valley of the Ladakh region — one of the disputed Kashmir territories.

De-escalation talks between the rival powers were held on Sunday in Ladakh where both sides have been amassing hundreds of thousands of troops on either side of the border.

Several sectors of the 3,500 kilometer-long (2,175 miles), ill-defined border are claimed by both New Delhi and Beijing.

The two countries fought a border war in 1962. Sporadic clashes in recent years have once again brought up the threat of an open conflict.

ab/rt (AFP, Reuters)