Indian and Chinese soldiers injured after 'fistfight' at border

Up to 150 soldiers clash on mountain pass in Himalayas

Peter Stubley
Monday 11 May 2020 15:57 BST
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Four soldiers in the Indian Army were injured during the face-off on Saturday
Four soldiers in the Indian Army were injured during the face-off on Saturday

A fist-fight erupted between 150 Indian and Chinese troops after a high-altitude stand-off on a mountain pass in the Himalayas, according to officials.

Several soldiers were injured in Saturday’s border clash near the Nathu La crossing between northern Sikkim in India and Tibet.

It follows reports of an earlier brawl between up to 250 soldiers a few days earlier in eastern Ladakh in the disputed territory of Kashmir.

Indian army officials said that the disputes were short-lived and were resolved by “dialogue and interaction at local level.”

“Aggressive behaviour by the two sides resulted in minor injuries to troops,” Indian army eastern command spokesman Mandeep Hooda told reporters.

“It was stone-throwing and arguments that ended in a fistfight. Temporary and short-duration face-offs between border-guarding troops do occur as boundaries are not resolved.”

Local media reported four Indian troops and seven Chinese troops were injured.

India fought a war with China over the Himalayan border in 1962. Since then there have been sporadic clashes, culminating in a 10-week standoff between the two nations in the Doklam plateau near Sikkim.

It prompted the India’s army chief at the time to warn that that the country should be prepared for war, arguing that nuclear deterrence did not necessarily prevent conflict.

However relations with China appeared to improve following talks between between prime minister Narendra Modi and China’s Xi Jinping in 2018.

Disputes over the disputed territory of Kashmir has also seen repeated border clashes between India and Pakistan.

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