Indian Army says drone was on training mission, strayed into China

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Rejecting China's claims that an Indian drone violated its airspace, the Ministry of Defence on Thursday said Indian drone lost contact and crossed over the Line of Actual Control in Sikkim sector.

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The Indian Army, in a statement, said that the UAV was on a training mission and strayed into the Chinese territory.

The Army said that the protocol was adhered to and in fact, it was the Indian side which informed the Chinese about the incident.

"An Indian UAV which was on a regular training mission inside the Indian territory lost contact with the ground control due to some technical problem and crossed over the LAC in the Sikkim Sector," a statement from MoD said.

The Indian border security personnel immediately alerted their Chinese counterparts over the missing UAV, it said. "In response, Chinese side reverted with location details. Exact cause of the incident is under investigation. The matter is dealt with in accordance with established protocols," it added.

The Chinese state media on Thursday claimed that an Indian drone allegedly "invaded" China's airspace and crashed.

"The Indian move violated China's territorial sovereignty. We strongly express our dissatisfaction and opposition," Xinhua news agency cited the deputy director of the army's western theatre combat bureau, Zhang Shuili, as saying.

India and China share disputed terrain along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh as well as in Arunachal Pradesh and regions adjoining Bhutan.

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