Indian Army rescuers found the bodies of seven soldiers buried in an avalanche Tuesday (February 8) while patrolling a remote area along the disputed Himalayan border with China.
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The avalanche occurred on Sunday in an area at 4,400 meters above sea level that had seen heavy snowfall in the previous days. The seven soldiers belonged to troops stationed in the state of Arunachal Pradesh (northeast India). Their bodies were found after a two-day search in inclement weather and taken to a nearby military medical center. “Unfortunately, despite all efforts, the deaths of the seven (missing) soldiers were confirmed.Indian Army spokesman Colonel Harsh Wardhan Pande said in a statement.
India and China have long contested their long border, and in 1962 they faced a blitzkrieg in Arunachal Pradesh. China then prevailed against India. Beijing claims a large part of the territory of this Indian state, which it considers part of southern Tibet. Tensions had risen in June 2020 in the Galwan Valley in India’s Ladakh region with a deadly clash that killed more than 20 Indian soldiers. The Chinese army had reported four dead in their ranks. Since then, several negotiating sessions have failed to defuse tensions, and both sides have been reinforced with men and equipment. The line of effective control (“line of actual control», LAC), the de facto border between India and China, is not clearly demarcated, and these two countries regularly accuse each other of encroaching on one another’s territory.
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