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Myanmar military helicopter shot down by Kachin rebels as parcel bomb kills 5


On Monday, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) said it shot down a military helicopter near the town of Moemauk in Kachin province after days of military air raids.

“The military council has been launching airstrikes in this area since about 8 or 9 this morning … using jet fighters and also firing from a helicopter, we have them so shot, “spokesman Naw Bu said over the phone.

He declined to say what weapons were used.

A local resident, who declined to be named, said by phone that four people died in hospital after artillery shells hit a monastery in the village.

Meanwhile, explosions of at least one parcel bomb in south-central Myanmar killed five people, including an ousted lawmaker and three police officers who had joined a civil disobedience movement opposed to the military regime, media reported on Tuesday. .
Myanmar has seen an increasing number of small explosions in residential areas, sometimes targeting government offices or military installations, since the overthrow of the elected government led by Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1.

The latest explosions took place in a village in western Bago and occurred around 5 p.m. local time on Monday, the Myanmar Now news portal reported, citing a resident.

Three explosions were set off when at least one parcel bomb exploded in a house in the village, killing a regional lawmaker from Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party, as well as the three police officers and a resident, according to The report.

Another policeman involved in the civil disobedience movement was also seriously injured after his arms were torn off by the explosion, the resident said. He had been hospitalized and was receiving treatment, he said.

Khit Thit media also reported the blasts, citing an anonymous NLD official in the region.

Reuters could not independently verify reports of the downed helicopter or parcel bombs, and a military spokesperson did not respond to a phone call seeking comment.

In another sign of growing insecurity, the head of the junta-appointed parish administration office in Yangon’s Tharketa district was stabbed in his office and later died from his injuries, said Khit Thit Media. Two residents of the neighborhood confirmed the report. Police did not respond to a request for comment.

According to the defense group of the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners (AAPP), security forces have killed at least 766 civilians since the coup.

The junta disputes this figure and claims that at least 24 members of the security forces were killed during the protests. Reuters is unable to verify the victims due to media restrictions imposed by the junta. Many journalists are among the thousands of people detained.

The junta said it had to take power because its complaints of fraud in the November election won by Suu Kyi’s party were not dealt with by an election commission which found the vote fair.

Suu Kyi, 75, has been detained since the coup along with many other members of her party. The AAPP says more than 3,600 people are currently in detention for opposing the military.

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