Mon, 10 May 2021

Myanmar Ethnic Rebel Group Says It Downed Helicopter

Voice of America
04 May 2021, 05:05 GMT+10

An ethnic rebel group in northern Myanmar said it shot down a government military helicopter Monday during heavy fighting.

The Kachin Independence Army said it downed the craft near the town of Moemauk in Kachin after government forces carried out airstrikes in the area, using helicopters and fighter jets.

The claim could not be independently verified and there was no immediate comment by the government.

The Kachin are among several ethnic minority groups in Myanmar which have supported nationwide protests against the military's February coup, in which the elected government of de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi was ousted. Protests have taken place almost daily across the country.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, which tracks violence in the country, says security forces have killed at least 765 protesters and bystanders since the coup. Military leaders dispute the figures.

Suu Kyi has been in detention since the coup took place, along with many other members of her National League for Democracy party.

Myanmar's military has also increased offenses against the Kachin and the Karen, another ethnic minority that has its own armed force.

The ethnic minorities have been fighting the country's central government for decades, seeking greater autonomy.

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