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Indo-China face-off in Ladakh: 17 critically injured soldiers succumb, toll mounts to 20

Committed to protect territorial integrity, sovereignty of nation: Army

Tassaduq Hussain

Srinagar, June 16 (KNO): The Indian army Tuesday said that 17 of its soldiers, who were critically injured during the violent face-off with the Chinese army at Galwan Valley in Ladakh have succumbed to their injuries taking the total number of causalities in the day to 20 including an officer.

In an official statement to news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the army said that Indian and Chinese troops have disengaged at the Galwan Valley where they had earlier clashed on the night of June 15 and 16 “17 Indian troopers who were critically injured in the line of duty at the standoff location and exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain have succumbed to their injuries, taking the total number of casualties to 20,” the statement read.

It said that the army is firmly committed to protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation.

Earlier, in the day army had confirmed the death of one officer and two soldiers in the face-off between the two sides. Reliable sources had revealed to KNO that there would be round-two of the de-escalation parleys tomorrow at Ladakh where senior army officers from both sides will try to break the ice and defuse the tension.

However, killing of 20 soldiers is likely to cast shadow on the fresh deliberations which are on cards and have not been called off till this report was being filed. Tensions had been brewing between the two sides over the past few weeks in Ladakh with armies of India and China accusing each other of entering into each other’s territory.

However, today, the cold desert witnessed a violent face-off leading to the killing of 20 soldiers including a Colonel rank officer. Earlier, a defence official had stated that Chinese army had not held captive any Indian soldiers and reports in that regard were totally baseless. What remains to be seen is whether the two sides will sit on table tomorrow and will there be any headway—(KNO)