Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: At least 20 army personnel were killed in a violent clash with Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh's Galwan Valley on Monday night, the Indian Army confirmed today.

"Indian and Chinese troops have disengaged at Galwan area where they had earlier clashed on the night of 15/16 June. 17 Indian troops, who were critically injured in the line of duty at stand-off location and exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain, have succumbed to their injuries, taking the total that were killed in action to 20. Indian Army is firmly committed to protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation," Indian Army said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, the Indian Army said India lost an officer and two soldiers during the violent face-off, while there were casualties on the Chinese side as well.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about last night's clash as well the overall situation in eastern Ladakh after he held a high-level meeting with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and the three service chiefs.

According to a senior military officer, it is the first incident involving the casualty of an Indian soldier in a violent clash with the Chinese Army after 1975 when four Indian soldiers were killed in an ambush at Tulung La in Arunachal Pradesh.

Military sources said the two armies held major general-level talks at the site of the clash.

"During the de-escalation process underway in the Galwan Valley, a violent face-off took place on Monday night with casualties. The loss of lives on the Indian side includes an officer and two soldiers," the Army said in a brief statement.

"Senior military officials of the two sides are currently meeting at the venue to defuse the situation," it said.

(With PTI Inputs)

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