KIA claims Myanmar junta helicopter shot down

A Myanmar junta helicopter was reportedly shot down in Waingmaw Township on Saturday morning as the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) attacks fresh regime targets, The Irrawaddy reports.

The KIA and its allies attacked Infantry Battalion 321 headquarters and 10 junta outposts in Waingmaw Township on Saturday, according to the armed group.

KIA spokesman Colonel Naw Bu told The Irrawaddy: “We have heard a junta helicopter was shot down in the fighting but our troops are yet to confirm the reports.”

The KIA says it has shot down at least three junta military aircraft, including a fighter jet, since the 2021 coup.

Col Naw Bu said the KIA seized two junta outposts and patrol posts in Waingmaw on Saturday morning.

Infantry Battalion 321 in Shwe Nyaungbin village and 10 other outposts are along the Waingmaw-Myitkyina road, which links to Laiza town, where the KIA headquarters is based.

The KIA and its allies said they seized the major Gidon outpost on May 6 and other strongholds on May 5.

Clashes were reported on Friday morning in Mansi and Momauk townships with KIA raids on junta battalion headquarters and the regime responding with airstrikes.

The KIA and allies, which include the Kachin People’s Defense Force and Arakan Army, are attacking Light Infantry Battalions 319 and 601 and two artillery battalions in Mansi and Light Infantry Battalion 437 in Momauk.

The battalion headquarters in Momauk and Mansi are key to defending the junta’s power hub in Bhamo.

On Monday, a junta airstrike on Momauk destroyed at least 20 houses and a school.

A resident said: “An airstrike destroyed a Momauk marketplace on Friday. Over 100 houses and other buildings have been destroyed.”

Since March 7, the KIA has seized over 90 junta outposts and bases, including at least 11 battalions headquarters along the Bhamo-Myitkyina road in Momauk, Waingmaw, Myitkyina, Mansi, Sumprabum and Tanai townships.

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