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Indian chopper goes missing near China border

NEW DELHI: An Indian helicopter with three people on board has gone missing near the country’s border with China after taking off on a flood rescue mission, an official said on Tuesday.

The aircraft lost contact in Arunachal Pradesh state in India’s remote northeast amid turbulent weather, the defence official told AFP.

“The ALH (Advanced Light Helicopter) had taken off from Tezpur airbase in Assam state around 4 pm (10:30 GMT),” he said, declining to be named.

India’s junior home minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted that efforts were on to locate the Indian Air Force helicopter, which was carrying relief material for flood-affected residents in the northeast of the country.

READ MORE: China reminds India of 1962 defeat in another stern warning

Arunachal Pradesh as well as some other neighbouring states have been reeling under heavy monsoon rains that have triggered landslides and floods.

China and India have a border dispute in the mountainous northeast and regularly accuse each other of making illegal troop encroachments.

Their mistrust stems from a brief war in 1962 over Arunachal Pradesh which has a large ethnic Tibetan population.

The standoff has intensified in recent days with the two sides trading stern diplomatic warnings over a remote scrap of territory where the frontiers of China, India and Bhutan meet.

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