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'Minor faceoff' with Chinese troops, Indian army says

Fresh clash took place in northeastern state of Sikkim last week, according to army statement

Ahmad Adil   | 25.01.2021
'Minor faceoff' with Chinese troops, Indian army says

NEW DELHI 

Indian and Chinese soldiers engaged in a "minor faceoff" last week in the northeastern state of Sikkim, the Indian army said on Monday.

"It is clarified that there was a minor face-off at Nakula area of North Sikkim on 20 January 2021 and the same was resolved by local commanders as per established protocols," said an army statement.

Earlier Indian media reported that the troops of the two countries clashed last week.

“Chinese soldiers tried to cross the border last week but were challenged by Indian soldiers in Naku La in North Sikkim, which resulted in a violent clash," local broadcaster India Today said.

Some 20 Chinese soldiers and four Indian troops were injured in the clash, according to the media report, while the Indian Army statement did not mention any injuries, urging media "to refrain from overplaying or exaggerating reports which are factually incorrect."

However, state-run Chinese daily Global Times denied the Indian media reports that Chinese soldiers were injured in the scuffle.

"Reports by Indian media claiming 20 PLA [People's Liberation Army of China] soldiers injured in the latest clash on China-India border is fake news," the daily said.

Addressing a news conference in Beijing, China's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lijian Zhao said Monday a new round of military talks between China and India was "held and the two sides will release relevant info as soon as possible," without divulging any details.

The fresh clash was reported a day after both sides held a long meeting in Ladakh on Sunday to discuss the ongoing standoff.

It came amid the tensions between India and China along the Line of Actual Control, a de facto border in Ladakh where armies of the two countries are locked in a standoff since May 2020.

India has moved thousands of troops to the border after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a clash with Chinese soldiers armed with nail-studded clubs along the disputed border in June last year.

*Riyaz ul Khaliq contributed to the report from Ankara

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