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India, China accuse each other of firing in the air on tense border

DELHI/BEIJING : India and China have accused each other of firing in the air during a new confrontation on their border in the western Himalayas, in a further escalation of military tension between the nuclear-armed nations.

Hundreds of troops are in eyeball-to-eyeball proximity along the remote border, which erupted in a clash in June that killed 20 Indian soldiers in hand-to-hand fighting.

On Monday night, troops of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) attempted to close in on a forward Indian position at the Line of Actual Control, or the de factor border.

The Indian army said yesterday: "And when dissuaded by own (Indian troops), PLA troops fired a few rounds in the air in an attempt to intimidate own troops."

It also added that the Indian side had acted with restraint.

However, the Chinese said the Indians had breached the informal border.

"The Indian troops brazenly made gunshot threat to the patrolling Chinese border guards who came forwards for negotiations, and the Chinese border guards were forced to take countermeasures to stabilise the situation," said a PLA representative. - REUTERS

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