Ethnic rebels from the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Kachin State in Myanmar shot down a helicopter of the country’s air force, the Irrawaddy news portal reported on Monday, citing the command of the ethnic army.
It is indicated that the helicopter carrying out the bombing of KIA facilities was shot down at 10.30 by hitting the tail rotor and made a hard landing near the village of Konglo in the Momauk district of Kachin State.
“The attack on the helicopter scared off two Myanmar Air Force fighter jets that accompanied it,” the newspaper quoted Colonel No Bu, a representative of the KIA information service, as saying.
According to eyewitnesses, the sounds of fighting, including the bursting of artillery shells, were heard in the area of the village of Konglo, the report said.
The portal does not report anything about the fate of the Myanmar Army helicopter crew. It is also not reported which helicopter was shot down by the rebels. The Myanmar Air Force is armed with helicopters produced by Russia, the United States, Poland, and France. Clashes between KANG and regular troops of the central government of Myanmar resumed after a long break in February after the military removed the civilian government of Myanmar from power. On March 25, KANG fighters captured a strategic height on the border of Myanmar and China, Mount Alo, on which the Myanmar military had a fortified observation post. Then, on 29 April, KANG successfully conducted an artillery bombardment of the local Bhamo airport, which is being used by Myanmar Armed Forces aircraft and helicopters as a temporary base. The Myanmar army has been trying for more than a month to regain its lost position on Mount Alo and is using aircraft to bomb the locations of KAN units and headquarters. Because of the bombing, more than 5 thousand residents were forced to leave their homes, the portal indicates.