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China, India trade blame for gunfire in disputed border region

Indian military vehicles are seen on a highway in Jammu and Kashmir, India, on June 22. India and China traded accusations Tuesday of gunfire at the border region shared by the two nations. File Photo by EPA-EFE
Indian military vehicles are seen on a highway in Jammu and Kashmir, India, on June 22. India and China traded accusations Tuesday of gunfire at the border region shared by the two nations. File Photo by EPA-EFE

Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Authorities in China and India are accusing each other of firing gunshots in a tense border region that separates the two nations.

The new accusations Tuesday have grown out of a deadly confrontation between Chinese and Indian troops in the Himalayas in June, which itself was a continuation of decades of dispute in the region.

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Chinese officials accused Indian troops of crossing the Line of Actual Control and "outrageously" firing warning shots near Chinese soldiers in the area.

Chinese army spokesman Col. Zhang Shuili said the Indian troops crossed into the Shenpao region and "stirred up tensions." He called the warning shots "very vile in nature."

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India, meanwhile, said it was Chinese forces that fired on Indian troops.

"At no stage did the Indian Army transgressed across the Line of Actual Control or resorted to use of any aggressive means, including firing," the Indian Army said. "It is the [Chinese] Army that has been blatantly violating agreements and carrying out aggressive maneuvers."

India and China have disagreed for decades precisely where their shared border, which runs through the Himalayas, is located. A 1962 truce, however, established the 2,100-mile Line of Actual Control in Jammu and Kashmir.

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The accusations came ahead of a planned summit in Russia between Chinese and Indian diplomats, intended to calm the Himalayan dispute.

Both armies along the disputed border continued negotiations Tuesday, although Indian military officials said Chinese troops remained in a "face-off" position.

"[We are] committed to maintaining peace and tranquility, however, [we're] also determined to protect national integrity and sovereignty at all cost," the Indian Army said.

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