News channel Al Jazeera just reported that a Burmese rebel group claims to have shot down a military helicopter in Kachin province.
The Kachin Independence Army says they shot down the helicopter in response to military airstrikes in the province.
Myanmar has been rocked by violence and political unrest every day since a February 1 military coup that overthrew the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD party.
Protests against the coup have continued in the country, but if the KIA’s claim is true, the military helicopter is the first plane to have been shot down since the start of the recent conflict. The rebel group says the helicopter was shot down yesterday morning after days of air raids on Kachin province.
“The military council raided the area around 8 or 9 yesterday morning with fighter jets and also fired shots with a helicopter, so we fired back at them.”
The Burmese military has not commented on the allegation and it has not yet been independently verified. However, multiple videos are circulating online claiming to show the incident. According to Al Jazeera’s Scott Heidler, the KIA is one of the most powerful armed rebel groups in the country.
“There are many different groups, but the Kachin Independence Army is one that really gets into the tougher fights.
more frequent fighting, with the army since the coup on February 1. They said it was retaliation for overnight airstrikes. ” in Monday, and then also on Monday morning. They said they were retaliating because the helicopter involved attacked their positions. “
An anonymous resident of Kachin claims that 4 people died in the hospital after the shelling of a monastery. The Burmese military is accused of killing about 766 civilians, including peaceful protesters, to date. According to the United Nations, tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes as violence escalates between the military junta and armed rebel groups.