PLA troops armed with iron rods and machetes attempting to approach Indian posts at Mukhpari Top

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Chinese troops carried rods, spears, clubs and sharp weapons in trying to close in on an Indian position in Mukhpari area of Rezang-La ridgeline in eastern Ladakh on Monday evening, government sources said on Tuesday. As tension escalated at the Line of Actual Control(LAC), the sources said around 50-60 soldiers of Chinese People’s Liberation Army(PLA) approached the Indian post in the southern bank of Pangon lake area at around 6pm but the Indian Army personnel posted there strongly confronted them, forcing their retreat.

The Chinese troops had mounted a savage attack on Indian soldiers with stones, nail-studded sticks, iron rods and clubs during the Galwan Valley clashes in eastern Ladakh on June 15 in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed. On Monday evening too, the Chinese troops were carrying rods, spears, clubs and sharp weapons, the sources said.

When the Indian Army forced the Chinese troops to return, they fired 10-15 rounds in the air to intimidate Indian soldiers, in the first use of firearms along the LAC after a gap of 45 years. The previous instance of shots being fired at the de-facto border was in 1975. The sources said Indian troops did not use any firearm.

They said the attempt of the Chinese troops was to remove Indian Army from the strategic heights in Mukhpari peak and Rezang-La areas. The PLA has been eyeing to capture the strategic heights in the last three-four days, the sources said, adding the Chinese troops damaged an iron fence on Monday evening which was put up by Indian troops in the area.

India continues to dominate strategic peaks around the southern bank of Pangong lake area overlooking key Chinese formations in the Moldo area. The PLA late on Monday night alleged that Indian troops crossed the LAC and “outrageously fired” warning shots near the Pangong lake. The Indian Army on Tuesday rejected the charges.

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