Indian troops faced furious hand-to-hand fighting raged across the Galwan river valley for over eight hours on Monday night. People’s Liberation Army assault teams armed with iron rods as well as batons wrapped in barbed wire hunted down and slaughtered troops of the 16 Bihar Regiment, a senior government official familiar with the debriefing of survivors at hospitals in Leh has told News18.
The savage combat, with few parallels in the history of modern armies, is confirmed to have claimed the lives of at least 23 Indian soldiers, including 16 Bihar’s commanding officer, Colonel Santosh Babu, many because of protracted exposure to sub-zero temperatures the Indian Army said late on Tuesday.
“Even unarmed men who fled into the hillsides were hunted down and killed,” one officer said. “The dead include men who jumped into the Galwan river in a desperate effort to escape.”
Government sources say at least another two dozen soldiers are battling life-threatening injuries, and over 110 have needed treatment. “The toll will likely go up,” a military officer with knowledge of the issue said.