LEH AFP June24, 2020 - Indian fighter jets roared over a flashpoint Himalayan region Wednesday as part of a show of strength following what military sources say has been a Chinese takeover of contested territory.
Chinese forces have held onto a chunk of land covering several square kilometres (miles) at the mouth of the Galwan valley following a deadly brawl there on June 15, the Indian military sources told AFP.
The two sides publicly declared they would pull back following the clash, which saw 20 Indian soldiers killed in a battle involving rocks and nail-studded batons. But both have maintained troops around the valley, with India deploying more forces and trying to project military might.
Indian jets regularly took off Wednesday from a military base in Leh, the main Indian town in the contested region, and headed towards the mountainous border 240 kilometres (150 miles) away.
There were also checkpoints on main roads out Leh and a frenzy of military activity around the main town, which lies at 3,500 metres (11,500 feet).
Residents reported long lines of military trucks and artillery on roads near Leh. “We now have a good strength present in the area,” an official of the Indian army’s Northern Command told AFP on condition of anonymity, referring to the reinforcements.