New Delhi: The Army on Sunday officially denied reports that its patrol party was detained briefly in Ladakh and later released by the Chinese troops earlier this week, adding that it hurts national interests when media publishes ‘unsubstantiated news.’ Also Read - Major Face-Offs Between India, China Military Personnel on May 5, 9: Chronology of Events That Bring Line of Actual Control to News Now

In a statement today, Army spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand said, “There has been no detention of Indian soldiers at the China border. We categorically deny this. It only hurts national interests when media outlets publish unsubstantiated news.” Also Read - Army Chief Visits Ladakh to Review Ongoing Stand-off at LAC With Chinese Troops

Notably, the official confirmation by the Army came after clarification by government sources in this regard last night.

The incident is reported to have taken place even as the two countries are currently involved in a face-off on at least three points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC)-the de facto border between them-in Ladakh. Of these, it is Galwan Valley, where the situation is said to be particularly tense.

The Chinese troops are reported to have intruded into the Indian territory though is yet to be officially confirmed by the government. On Friday, Army Chief General MM Naravane dashed to Ladakh-based 14 Corps to take stock of the situation.

Earlier this month, the Indian and Chinese armies had clashed in Ladakh and north Sikkim. In Ladakh only, Indian Air Force (IAF) fighters had to be scrambled after Chinese helicopters were spotted there. In April also, there were two separate intrusions by Chinese choppers in Himachal Pradesh.