FILE- In this May 5, 2013 file photo, Chinese troop hold a banner which reads, "You've crossed the border, please go back," in Ladakh, India. Chinese President Xi Jinping is coming to India to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, just weeks after Beijing supported India's rival Pakistan in raising the issue of New Delhi's recent actions in disputed Kashmir at the U.N. General Assembly meeting. The countries fought a brief but bloody border war in 1962 over their disputed frontier and their armed forces engaged in a 10-week standoff in the neighboring state of Bhutan in 2017. (AP Photo, file) © ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE- In this May 5, 2013 file photo, Chinese troop hold a banner which reads, "You've crossed the border, please go back," in Ladakh, India. Chinese President Xi Jinping is coming to India to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, just weeks after Beijing supported India's rival Pakistan in raising the issue of New Delhi's recent actions in disputed Kashmir at the U.N. General Assembly meeting. The countries fought a brief but bloody border war in 1962 over their disputed frontier and their armed forces engaged in a 10-week standoff in the neighboring state of Bhutan in 2017. (AP Photo, file)

KOLKATA (Reuters) - Indian and Chinese troops on border patrol duties had a brief skirmish in Sikkim, a northeastern Indian state bordering China, the Indian Defence Ministry said on Sunday, blaming both sides for the incident.

"Aggressive behavior by the two sides resulted in minor injuries to troops. The two sides disengaged after dialogue and interaction at the local level," the ministry said in a statement.

The Indian daily Hindustan Times, citing a military source, said four Indian soldiers and seven Chinese troops were injured when some of the soldiers exchanged blows during the confrontation, which it said took place on Saturday and involved some 150 soldiers.

The Defence Ministry said the incident took place in the Nathula area but did not give details of how it started, or what caused the injuries. 

China's Ministry of Defense could be immediately reached for comment on Sunday.

India and China have often accused each other of intrusions into each other's territories, but clashes are rare.

There is still deep mistrust between the two countries over their festering border dispute, which triggered a brief war in 1962.

Hundreds of troops from both sides were deployed in 2017 on the Doklam plateau, near the borders of India, Bhutan, and China after India objected to Chinese construction of a road in the Himalayan area, in the most serious standoff in years.

(Reporting by Subrata Nagchoudhury in Kolkata; Writing by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Frances Kerry)

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