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China says Indian troops illegally crossed line of control and fired first

FILE PHOTO: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian speaks at a news conference in Beijing, China April 8, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday Indian troops illegally crossed a line of control on their shared border and were first to fire warning shots in a serious military provocation.

India and China have accused each other of firing into the air during a confrontation on their border in the western Himalayas, in a further escalation of military tension between the nuclear-armed nations.

China urged India to discipline its frontline troops, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a news conference in Beijing.

Both sides have long observed a protocol to avoid using firearms on the sensitive, undemarcated frontier, though this agreement has not prevented casualties.

Reporting by Cate Cadell; Writing by Gabriel Crossley; Editing by Andrew Heavens