India’s Ministry of Defense says that five Indian nationals who strayed across the border into China have been detained.
The youth of the state bordering China went missing earlier this month.
India said that they were hunters who had wandered into Chinese territory by mistake. The release has not been confirmed by China.
Fatal conflict in a disputed area between the Indian and Chinese forces in June.
In a statement released on Saturday, an Indian Army spokesman said that five youths from the isolated state of Arunachal Pradesh had “inadvertently crossed the border while hunting”.
He said that it was not uncommon that there was a long and sometimes unmarked border between the two countries.
Although China’s state-run Global Times newspaper did not write any official word, an unnamed security source said the group was “disguised as hunters by intelligence personnel”.
The source said the men had deliberately crossed the border and had been “detained, warned and educated” by the Chinese military.
The Indian Army earlier this week activated a military hotline designed to help ease border tensions with China, stating that the group had been kidnapped.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian did not provide details of the time, but said his country had not recognized “the so-called Arunachal Pradesh, which is the South Tibet region of China”.
What is the background?
Relations between the two countries had been deteriorating since June, when at least 20 Indian soldiers were killed in clashes in the disputed Ladakh border area. China did not comment on reports in which it also suffered casualties.
There have been flare ups since, but India’s foreign minister and his Chinese counterpart met on Thursday in Russia, where they reached an agreement to ease tensions from their shared border.
The two countries regularly cross-border and accuse each other of inciting fighting in the Himalayan region of Ladakh, a poor frontier that passes through inhuman terrain.
Despite several rounds of military and diplomatic negotiations, nuclear-armed neighbors have failed to resolve their border disputes.
There are several reasons that tensions have increased recently – but the competitiveness of the strategic goal is rooted in, and the two sides blame each other.
The two countries have fought only one war, in 1962, when India suffered a humiliating defeat.