CHINESE army "death squads" hunted down and slaughtered Indian troops in gruesome hand-to-hand combat, survivors have claimed.
Eight hours of fighting erupted as Chinese and Indian forces clashed in the Galwan Valley which has sparked fears of a war between the two sides.
Survivors said medieval-style battles raged as Chinese soldiers armed with spiked clubs, iron rods and batons wrapped in barbed wire attacked Indian troops.
Indian military officials revealed the details of the clash which reportedly involved up to 500 men as the full picture of Monday night's bloody fight continues to emerge.
China and India are now at loggerheads after the incident which sawthe first fatalities in clashes between the two nuclear-armed states since 1975.
It is the latest clash in decades-long border row which sees both claim ownership over a narrow corridor of territory high in the Himalayas.
India and China have a pact that no guns are to be carried within a mile of the border, leading to the brutal makeshift weapons and bloody hand-to-hand combat.
The death toll from the incident is reportedly 23 on India's side, with China reporting 43 casualties with the number of fatalities unclear.
Indian officers have said they expect their deeath toll to rise.
Chinese state media yesterday warned Beijing was prepared for a clash with India as troops and weapons carried out large-scale war games in Tibet.
"Even unarmed men who fled into the hillsides were hunted down and killed," an Indian officer told News18.
"The dead include men who jumped into the Galwan river in a desperate effort to escape."
Other officials have previously branded the Chinese troops as "death squads".
The outlet reported at least two dozen soldiers are have life-threatening injuries, and over 110 were injured in the battle.
Reportedly up to 500 soldiers in total were involved in the fighting, which began after Indian forces – led by Colonel Bikumalla Santosh Babu – dismantled a Chinese position in the Galwan Valley.
It is claimed Chinese commanders had agreed to vacate the outpost, but then fighting broke out as Indian troops moved in.
Hindustan Times reports Indian officials believe Chinese soldiers were "prepared for a face-off" as they armed themselves ahead of the brawl.
Colonel Babu was killed the fighting, along with a number of other officers.
It comes as reports also emerged yesterday of Indian soldiers' bodies being "mutilated" following the fighting which as left the region on a knife edge.
Talks are continuing between the two sides to try and defuse the powder-keg situation as the UN urged both sides show "maximum restraint",
China has reportedly freed ten Indian soldiers as part of high level negotiations- but the New Delhi has not confirmed this.
Funerals have been continuing to take place for the Indian soldiers killed in the clash, with angry protests calling for a response to China.
Convoys of Indian troops have been pictured heading through Ladakh towards the disputed border – known as the Line of Actual Control.
Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, the region's MP, demanded a "one time solution" to the problem with China.
He said: "We don't want soldiers of our country lose lives repeatedly. We don't want any disturbances to lives of the civilians living along the border. "
Mr Namgyal said language used by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi was similar to that which he uttered before surgical strikes were launched against terrorists in Pakistan.
He urged the Indian government to take back the Aksai Chin region, becoming the latest Indian official to call for direct action.
Indian media reports talks between the two sides are "barely keeping things under control" and the situation on the ground is "extremely volatile".
The brutality of the fight in the Galwan Valley is also reportedly fueling fury in New Delhi as Indian people burn pictures of Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
India and China have been feuding over the border since the two powers last fought a war in 1962.
Mr Modi said the country is ready to hit back if provoked by China and said the deaths of its soldiers "will not be in vain".
India has reportedly also placed its warships and fighter planes on alert as the world waits with bated breath for the results of ongoing talks.
Tensions have been growing in the region since April when China deployed thousands of troops as well as artillery and vehicles.
Analysts say the troops were deployed in an attempt to stop India increasing its own military presence in the area.
Both countries have nationalistic-leaning governments and neither will want to be seen to be the one backing down with, at the very least, national pride at stake.
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