Over 20 Indian soldiers and many more are reportedly wounded after a clash with the Chinese military in the Himalyana border region between the two countries.
The bloody clash comes as tensions have continued to rise between the two countries raising the specter of a potential all out war between the two nations.
The story gets stranger however, as new reports indicate the clash in question saw Indian and Chinese troops fight each other with rocks, iron bars, and bare hands in a narrow mountain pass during which many of them fell to their deaths. As The Guardian reports:
The killings were sparked when a patrol of Indian soldiers encountered Chinese troops in a steep section of the mountainous region they believed the People’s Liberation Army had retreated from, in line with a 6 June disengagement agreement, sources in Delhi said.
The two armies jostled and hand-to-hand fighting broke out – neither side armed in line with decades of tradition supposed to ward off the possibility of escalation between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
Then an Indian commanding officer was pushed, fell from the narrow ridge and fell to his death in the gorge below.
Reinforcements from the Indian side were summoned from a post about 2 miles away and eventually about 600 men were fighting with stones, iron rods and other makeshift weapons in near-total darkness for up to six hours, Indian government sources said, with most deaths on both sides occurring from soldiers falling or being knocked from mountain terrain.