By Hom Prasad Lamsal
America: The United States is “closely monitoring” the situation between India and China after a fierce face-off between armies of the two countries at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The US said it is ready to extend support to a peaceful resolution of the situation.
A State Department spokesperson said the United States is “closely monitoring” the situation along the LAC.
According to the spokesperson, both India and China have expressed their desire to de-escalate.
“We support a peaceful resolution,” the spokesperson said.
The US statement comes hours after India said 20 of its soldiers were killed in a fierce clash with Chinese troops at Galway Valley at the LAC.
The US spokesperson said that the United States notes the Indian Army has announced that 20 soldiers have died.
“We offer our condolences to their families,” the US said.
The faceoff happened on June 15 late evening and night in Ladakh’s Galway Valley.
As many as 20 Indian Army soldiers were killed during a face-off between Indian and Chinese troops at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh’s Galway Valley on Monday night, Indian media reports have said.
Earlier, it was reported that three Indian Army, including one Indian Army officer and two soldiers, were killed, and around four Chinese soldiers were killed in the face-off.
However, sources said that as many 20 Indian soldiers have been killed in the face-off. The number is likely to rise further, according to reports.
The Indian Army in a statement said that “17 Indian troops who were critically injured in the line of duty at the standoff location and exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain have succumbed to their injuries, taking the total that was killed in action to 20.”
It added that Indian and Chinese troops disengaged at the Galway area where the two sides have earlier clashed.
“Indian Army is firmly committed to protecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation,” the Indian Army statement said.
The stand-off between the two sides turned violent on Monday, inflicting casualties on both sides.
They have been engaged in the standoff in Galway Valley, Pangong Tso, Demchok, and Daulat Beg Oldie in Ladakh since May 5.
A significant number of Chinese Army personnel also transgressed into the Indian soil of the de-facto border in some areas including Pangong Tso.
The Indian Army has been objecting to the transgressions and has been demanding their withdrawal for the restoration of peace in the area.
Both sides have also held a series of talks in the last couple of days to resolve the row.
This was the first Indian casualty in the border skirmish with China’s People’s Liberation Army since October 1975 when the latter ambushed an Indian patrol in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tulung La sector killing four soldiers.
China suffered 43 casualties: ANI
Even though there has been no official statement from China on the number of casualties during the face-off, Indian intercepts have estimated as many as 43 casualties on the other side, according to ANI.
It said the Chinese troops suffered 43 casualties during the face-off with the Indian Army at the LAC in the Galwan Valley region of Eastern Ladakh.
What had happened?
India and China had agreed that Chinese soldiers would disengage and return to their territory on June 6. Talks between major generals of both sides were supposed to take place on June 16, according to reports.
As the Chinese troops didn’t go back, a team of the Indian Army led by Colonel Santosh Babu of 16 Bihar Regiment decided to hold talks with the Chinese side.
(the Chinese side) were reluctant to move back thus ‘aggravating’ the situation and started attacking the Indian delegation with stones, sticks, and clubs wrapped in barbed wire, Indian media reported.