Three Indian soldiers were killed during a “violent face-off” with Chinese troops along the countries’ de facto border in the Himalayas late Monday, the Indian army said in a statement.
The incident occurred during a “de-escalation process” underway in the Galwan Valley in the disputed Aksai Chin-Ladakh area, where a large troop build-up has reportedly been taking place for weeks now on both sides of the border before senior military commanders began talks earlier this month.
According to the Indian army statement, there was a loss of life “on both sides,” including an Indian officer and two Indian soldiers. The statement did not specify the number of additional Chinese casualties. It added that senior military officials from both sides are currently meeting to defuse the situation.
At a regular press conference Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that on Monday “Indian troops seriously violated our consensus and twice crossed the borderline for illegal activities and provoked and attacked Chinese personnel which lead to serious physical conflict between the two sides.”
“China has lodged strong protest and representation with the India side, and we once again we solemnly ask the India side to follow our consensus and strictly regulate its front line troops and do not cross the line and do not stir up troubles or take unilateral moves that may complicate matters,” Zhao added. “We both agreed to resolve this issue through dialogue and consolation and make efforts for easing the situation and upholding peace and tranquillity in the border area.” Zhao did not comment on whether there had been any Chinese casualties.
(This article originally appeared on CNN)