Three Indian soldiers and an undisclosed number of Chinese personnel have reportedly been killed in a violent clash. The two countries have been slipping towards the brink of conflict over their disputed border in recent weeks.

In recent weeks, China and India have both strengthened their presence along a nearly 3,500km border that runs through the Ladakh Region.

The Indian Army has said one officer and two soldiers were killed in the clash, with some reports saying the personnel were beaten to death.

Officials from the two countries are meeting today in an attempt to calm tensions in the region. The South China Morning Post reported that Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Indian Forces had crossed the border twice, provoking Chinese personnel and prompting violent clashes.

Disputes in the region are common, with areas of land claimed by both India and China. These claims are compounded by an unmarked border that can be prone to shifting due to geographical features like rivers and mountains. This means personnel from China and India often stray into the other’s territory.

Both sides have accused each other’s forces of crossing the international Line of Actual Control, the loose demarcation line that separates the two countries, in recent weeks. Both countries have flooded the region with troops after tensions first began to flare up in May.

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Troops have reportedly engaged in several clashes over the past month; the FT reported that troops have been observed throwing rocks at each other and engaging in hand to hand combat.