Three Indian soldiers die as China and India bang heads in the Himalayas

Two bellicose, nationalist regimes, what could go wrong?

Three members of India’s armed forces have been killed in a “violent face-off” with Chinese soldiers on their disputed Himalayan border, the Indian army has said in a statement.  The deaths are the first loss of life in the border area in at least 45 years, and come amid a renewed dispute between the two countries in recent weeks.

It was unclear whether shots had been fired or if the men were killed in hand-to-hand combat.

The Chinese military suffered casualties too, according to a tweet by the editor-in-chief of China’s state-run Global Times newspaper. “Based on what I know, Chinese side also suffered casualties in the Galwan Valley physical clash,” Hu Xijin wrote. He did not give further details.  A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman accused Indian troops of violating a consensus between the two sides “by illegally crossing the border twice and carrying out provocative attacks on Chinese soldiers, resulting in serious physical clashes”.

The two countries have been locked in a decades-long stalemate over their competing claims to long, uninhabited stretches of the mountain range.

The Guardian:

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