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At least 20 Indian soldiers killed in hand-to-hand fighting on Chinese border

At least 20 Indian soldiers killed in hand-to-hand fighting on Chinese borderTwenty Indian soldiers were killed in violent hand-to-hand clashes with Chinese troops on the disputed border in the Himalayas late on Monday as the threat of a full-blown war flared. The soldiers died after intense fighting in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh where there has been a tense stand-off for more than a month, and were the first at the disputed border in 45 years. The Indian army confirmed the higher total late last night after initially saying only three had died, including a colonel, and India blamed China for starting the fighting. One tweet from a senior reporter at the pro-Beijing Global Times in China suggested five of its troops had been killed, and eleven injured, but that remained unconfirmed. His editor, Hu Xijin, posted on Twitter: "Based on what I know, Chinese side also suffered casualties in the Galwan Valley physical clash. I want to tell the Indian side, don’t be arrogant and misread China’s restraint as being weak. China doesn’t want to have a clash with India, but we don’t fear it." They are the first casualties to be suffered by either Asian superpower along their 3,488km border since 1975. Chinese and Indian troops typically do not carry weapons on the Line of Actual Control, in an attempt to avoid fatalities or diplomatic escalation of tensions, and it is understood these clashes were with stones and batons. India and China have been facing-off for over a month in Ladakh in Kashmir after Chinese troops crossed the so-called Line of Actual Control on May 5 and 6 to occupy over 60 kilometres of Indian territory at four locations – Pangong Tso, Galwan River, Demchok and Hot Springs.

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