India prepared to hold funerals on Thursday for some of the 20 soldiers killed in brutal hand-to-hand fighting with Chinese troops in a disputed mountainous border region, as the nuclear-armed rivals sought to defuse tensions.
Troops remained on alert at the Galwan Valley in the Ladakh region of the western Himalayas three days after the clashes, in which India said China had also suffered casualties. China has not given details of any deaths or injuries among its troops.
Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar spoke to senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi on Wednesday and the two sides agreed not to take any steps to escalate matters and instead ensure peace and stability on the contested frontier
An Indian official said senior military officers from both sides were holding talks on Thursday to defuse tensions. The talks were ongoing, the official said.
But both Jaishankar and Wang Yi traded blame for the deadliest border clash since 1967 and called for the other side to rein in their troops.
“The need of the hour was for the Chinese side to reassess its action and take corrective action,” the Indian foreign ministry quoted Jaishankar has telling Wang.