Five soldiers killed, T-72 Tank swept away by Shyok river during military training in Ladakh

Confirming the loss of lives the Army on Saturday said that the incident took place on 28 Jun 2024 night, while deinducting from a military training activity.
Representational image
Representational imagePhoto | Special arrangement

NEW DELHI: In a tragic accident, five Indian Army soldiers operationally deployed towards the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh lost their lives on Friday.

Confirming the loss of lives the Army on Saturday said that the incident took place on 28 Jun 2024 night, while deinducting from a military training activity.

Indian Army’s Fire and Fury Corps elaborated, in a social media message that “an army tank got struck in the Shyok River, near Saser Brangsa, Eastern Ladakh due to sudden increase in the water level.”

In response, “Rescue teams rushed to the location, however, due to high current and water levels, the rescue mission didn't succeed and the tank crew lost their lives,” added the Corps.

Indian Army regrets the loss of five brave personnel while being operationally deployed in Eastern Ladakh, it said.

This is the second biggest incident in which soldiers were killed in action. In the first such incident of the loss of lives, the Indian Army and People’s Liberation Army soldiers were killed in clashes in June 2020 at Galwan.

The incident is significant due to the sensitive area as Eastern Ladakh, as first reported by this newspaper in May 2020, has been tense with a dense deployment along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Clashes in the area of Finger 4, on the Northern bank of Pangong Tso had led to standoff deployments consisting of Artillery, Tanks, heavy equipment and missiles.

Both India and China are maintaining heavy deployments along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh which have led major reorientation of the troops along the northern borders. The tension prevails as there has been a stalemate regarding the prevailing standoffs at two friction points at Depsang and Demchok.

The Leh-based Fire & Fury 14 Corps is to change command from July 1, with Lt Gen H Bhalla replacing Lt Gen Rashim Bali. Corps Commander 14 Corps leads the Senior Highest Military Commander Level (SHMCL) talks between India and China to resolve issues about the standoff in Eastern Ladakh.

The Corps handles some of the most sensitive frontiers and battlefields in the world. The areas of Western and Eastern Ladakh also come under its responsibility. The Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh is facing tense deployments of the militaries, along with its weaponry and equipment, between India and China since May 2020.

Western Ladakh includes the Kargil, having its Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan, while in eastern Ladakh, the Corps shares its Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China. The world’s highest battleground, the Siachen Brigade, comes under this Corps.

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