NEW DELHI - Three Indian soldiers were killed in a violent face-off on the Chinese border, the Indian military said Tuesday, following weeks of tensions and the deployment of extra troops from both sides.

“A violent face-off took place yesterday (Monday) night with casualties. The loss of lives on the Indian side includes an officer and two soldiers,” an Indian army spokesman said in a statement.

“Senior military officials of the two sides are currently meeting at the venue to defuse the situation.” An Indian army officer in the region said that there had been no shooting in the incident, on precipitous, rocky terrain in the strategically important Galwan Valley. “It was violent hand-to-hand scuffles,” the officer said on condition of anonymity.

On the other hand, Beijing on Tuesday confirmed a clash took place, but made no mention of casualties. It accused Indian soldiers of crossing into Chinese territory and “attacking Chinese personnel”.

Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Indian troops “crossed the border line twice ... provoking and attacking Chinese personnel, resulting in serious physical confrontation between border forces on the two sides.”  “We again solemnly request that India follows the relevant attitude and restrains its frontline troops,” he said.

Beijing accuses Delhi of crossing border and ‘attacking personnel’

According radio Pakistan, at least 20 Indian soldiers including a Colonel were killed in a “violent face-off” on Monday night with Chinese troops at Galwan Valley in Ladakh.

The incident follows weeks of rising tension and the deployment of thousands of extra troops from both India and China.

The Indian Army in a statement said during the de-escalation process in the Galwan Valley, a violent face-off took place yesterday night with casualties on both sides.