China has returned 10 Indian soldiers captured during a deadly border clash earlier this week, an Indian government source said on Friday, as the two Asian nuclear powers sought to de-escalate tensions on their disputed border in the western Himalayas.
The Indian Army did not comment on the release, which according to the source took place on Thursday evening, instead referring to a government statement that said all of its soldiers were accounted for.
Twenty Indian soldiers, including an officer, were killed in vicious hand-to-hand combat on Monday night in the Galwan Valley, according to the government, making it the deadliest clash on the India-China border in more than five decades.
India has said the Chinese side also suffered casualties too, but the Chinese government has not disclosed any.
“The situation remains as it was, there is no disengagement, but there is also no further build up of forces,” said a second Indian government source, who is aware of the ground situation.
The official said at least 76 Indian troops were wounded during the clash, and had been hospitalised.
“No one is critical as of now,” he said.
With his nation in shock over the loss its soldiers’ lives, Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces one of the most difficult foreign policy challenges since he came to power in 2014.
On Friday evening, Modi will hold an all-party meeting in New Delhi to discuss the crisis on the border with China.