By  Ryan Saavedra•Jun 16th, 2020

Three Indian troops — an Army officer and two soldiers — were killed on Monday by the soldiers from communist China amid an ongoing border dispute between the world’s two most populated nations, both of which are also nuclear powers.

The incident comes amid a weeks-long stand-off between the two nations in the Galwan valley in western Himalayas which features “both accusing each other of trespassing into the other’s territory,” Reuters reported. According to the Indian Army, a “face-off” between the two sides on Monday turned deadly, with both sides suffering casualties.

“During the de-escalation process underway in the Galwan Valley, a violent face-off took place yesterday night with casualties on both sides,” the Indian Army said. “The loss of lives on the Indian side includes an officer and two soldiers. Senior military officials of the two sides are currently meeting at the venue to defuse the situation.”

The New York Times reported that preliminary reports indicated that the soldiers that were killed had not been shot, but had been killed in “a rock-throwing melee that was similar to fights that broke out last month along the border and seriously injured several soldiers on both sides.”

The incident marked the first time in more than 30 years that soldiers from either side were killed in skirmishes along the border.

“Last month, Chinese troops confronted Indian soldiers at several remote border points in the Himalayas, some more than 1,000 miles apart. Since then, both armies have rushed in thousands of reinforcements along what is known as the Line of Actual Control, the precise location of which can be blurry,” The Times added. “Indian analysts say that China has beefed up its forces with dump trucks, excavators, troop carriers, artillery and armored vehicles, and that China is now occupying Indian territory.”