20 jawans, including officers, were killed in a violent face-off with the Chinese troops on Monday night in the Galwan Valley of Ladakh. However, some more Indian Army soldiers are critically injured and are undergoing treatment and that casualties could increase, reported IANS.
China has also suffered casualties. According to ANI, the neighbouring country has lost 43 of its soldiers in the skirmish. However, China hasn't officially revealed any numbers. Global Times Editor-in-Chief said it was a part of "goodwill" from Beijing. This is goodwill from Beijing (sic)," he wrote.
There were reports doing the rounds that some of the Indian soldiers went missing after the face-off. However, on Thursday, the Indian Army dismissed such reports and said that all the troops involved in the clash were accounted for.
The Army hasn't revealed any more details about the face-off, however, a report in Hindustan Times said the clash between the Indian and the Chinese troops lasted for nearly seven hours.
Led by Colonel Santosh Babu, an Indian squad of about 50 soldiers reached Patrol Point 14 - a contested site. The soldiers were allegedly unarmed as per the protocol. On reaching the site, the Indian squad found the Chinese troops, in violation of a de-escalation plan discussed by senior commanders from both sides on June 6, the report said.
The Colonel and his team then confronted their Chinese counterparts and it soon escalated into a violent faceoff. The clash broke at around 7 pm which went on for around seven hours. The soldiers were engaged in hand-to-hand combat and threw stones at each other. The Chinese even swung iron rods with barbed wires and nail-studded clubs. Some soldiers even fell off from the hilly region into the water and were later retrieved in the morning.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday promised "a befitting reply if instigated" and assured that the sacrifice of the jawans will not be in vain. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also conveyed a strong message to his Chinese counterpart. He said that the incident was "pre-meditated and planned action that was directly responsible for the resulting violence and casualties".
However, China has on Thursday accused Indian troops of crossing the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and "deliberately provoking and attacking Chinese officers". The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson further warned India to not underestimate their "will to safeguard its territorial sovereignty".