Image appears to show nail-studded rods used in India-China brawl

Image appears to show nail-studded rods used in India-China brawl
An image passed an Indian military official shows crude weapons purportedly used in the fight.
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Daily US Times: A photo of weapon – nail-studded rods – has emerged purportedly used by Chinese forces in the fatal brawl along China’s disputed border with India on Monday. The incident creates tensions between India and China.

The fight in the Galwan Valley left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead and raised tensions between the two nuclear powers.

Both sides accused the other of an incursion and China did not acknowledge any casualties among its forces.

The border between India and China in the region is poorly demarcated and can shift with topographical changes.

The image that emerged on Thursday showed crude weapons that appeared to be made from iron rods studded with nails. The image passed to the BBC by a senior Indian military official on the India-China border, who said the weapons had been used by the Chinese.

Defence analyst Ajai Shukla described the use of such weapons as “barbarism”. Mr Shukla first tweeted the image.

The image went viral on Twitter in India, prompting outrage from many social media users. Neither Indian or Chinese officials commented on it.

Media reports said troops clashed on ridges at a height of nearly 4,267m (14,000 ft) along a steep terrain, with some soldiers falling into the fast-flowing Galwan river in sub-zero temperatures.

First deaths in four decades

In recent weeks, the two nations have brawled along the disputed border, but Monday’s clash was the first to lead to fatalities in at least 45 years. 

Indian army at first confirmed the death of three soldiers, but later on Tuesday, it said a further 17 troops “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.”

A statement from the Indian army says there was loss of life “on both sides,” but it did not specify any number of casualties in China’s side. The statement says senior military officials from both sides are currently meeting to defuse the situation.

On Tuesday, India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said: “India and China have been discussing through military and diplomatic channels the de-escalation of the situation in the border area in Eastern Ladakh.”

During a “productive meeting” on Saturday, June 6, senior commanders had “agreed on a process for such de-escalation”, the spokesperson said, and ground commanders had met regarding the implementation.

The Indian spokesperson said their expectation was this to unfold smoothly, the Chinese side departed from the consensus to respect the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Galwan Valley.

“Both sides suffered casualties that could have been avoided had the agreement at the higher level been scrupulously followed by the Chinese side,” he added.