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China 'returns captured Indian soldiers'

Video Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on June 19, 2020 - Duration: 01:40s

China 'returns captured Indian soldiers'

China has returned 10 Indian soldiers captured during a deadly border clash earlier this week, an Indian government source said on Friday, as two Asian nuclear powers sought to de-escalate tensions on their disputed border in the western Himalayas.

Emer McCarthy reports.

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China 'returns captured Indian soldiers'

An Indian government source says China has returned 10 soldiers captured during the deadly border clash earlier this week that killed or wounded at least dozens.

The Indian army did not comment on the release, instead referring to a government statement that said all of its soldiers were accounted for.

According to the government, 20 Indian soldiers were killed and scores more wounded on Monday (June 15) night in the brutal hand-to-hand combat with Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley, the worst such loss of life in decades.

India has said the Chinese side also suffered casualties too, but the Chinese government has not disclosed any.

Each side has accused the other for the incident, and they say that no shots were fired.

But neither side has made public details over how such a massive number of casualties could come from a physical altercation.

The return of the captured Indians comes as satellite images suggest that in the days leading up to the violence, China brought in pieces of machinery, cut a trail into a Himalayan mountainside and may have even dammed a river.

The pictures, taken by Planet Labs and obtained by Reuters, show signs of altering the landscape of the valley through widening tracks, moving earth and making river crossings, one expert said.

They were shot on Tuesday (June 16) - a day after the violence - but show an increase in activity from a week earlier.

Protests calling for a boycott of Chinese goods are continuing across India, with Narendra Modi to hold an all party meeting in New Delhi on Friday (June 19).

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