India-China face-off: UN expresses concern over standoff in Ladakh
The United Nations chief's spokesperson Eri Kaneko said Antonio Guterres expressed concerned over the violence and urged both sides to exercise ‘maximum restraint’
Geneva: United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has expressed concern over reports of violence and deaths at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China and urged both sides to exercise “maximum restraint”, his spokesperson said on Tuesday (June 16).
A total of 20 Indian Army personnel were killed during a “violent clash” with Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley on Monday night, escalating the already volatile border standoff between the two sides, an Army statement said on Tuesday.
Eri Kaneko, associate spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, made the comments at the daily press briefing.
“We are concerned about reports of violence and deaths at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China and urge both sides to exercise maximum restraint. We take positive note of reports that the two countries have engaged to deescalate the situation,” Kaneko said.
Kaneko was responding to a question on the death of Indian Army personnel in a “violent” face-off in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley amid escalating tensions at the LAC.
Initially, the Indian Army said one officer and two soldiers were killed. Later in the night, an Army statement said 17 more soldiers 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 that were killed in action to 20”.
“Indian and Chinese troops have disengaged at the Galwan area where they had earlier clashed on the night of 15/16 June 2020,” it said, adding that the “Indian Army is firmly committed to protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation”.
China has not released any information on the casualties suffered by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers during the “violent” face-off in eastern Ladakh.