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Burmese rebel group claim to have downed military helicopter – VIDEO

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Screenshot from You Tube/Thomas Njai

Al Jazeera is reporting that a Burmese rebel group is claiming to have downed a military helicopter in Kachin province. The Kachin Independence Army says it shot down the aircraft in response to military air strikes in the province. Myanmar has been rocked by violence and political unrest since a February 1 military coup that deposed of the democratically-elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD party.

Anti-coup protests have continued to take place in the country but if the KIA’s claim is true, the military helicopter is the first aircraft to be downed since the start of the recent conflict. The rebel group says the helicopter was shot down yesterday morning following days of airstrikes on Kachin province.

“The military council launched air strikes in that area since around 8 or 9 this morning using jet fighters and also fired shots using a helicopter so we shot back at them.”

Thomas Njai/You Tube

The Burmese military has not commented on the claim and it has not yet been independently verified. However, multiple videos claiming to show the incident are circulating online. According to Scott Heidler from Al Jazeera, 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 has really kind of been engaged in heavier battles, more frequent battles, with the Army since the coup on February 1. They said it was retaliation for airstrikes that happened overnight Sunday into Monday, and then also on Monday morning. They said they retaliated because the helicopter involved was attacking their positions.”

An anonymous Kachin resident claims that 4 people have died in hospital following the shelling of a monastery. The Burmese army is accused of having killed around 766 civilians to date, including peaceful protesters. 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.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera

 

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Slugger

    Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 11:58 am

    ‘ The Burmese army is accused of having killed around 766 civilians to date, including peaceful protesters.’

    ‘Course they were. In a piece about shooting down an aircraft. How’s it going NED?

  2. Avatar

    Niko

    Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    You are supposed to fly those helicopters low close to the ground and deliver flares all the time while in operations.

    There is many videos on youtube of the russians doing just that in syria.

    Even traveling is done close to the ground because the closer to the ground the less vunerable you are and those pilots clearly assumed that the rebels don´t have weapons to hit them. Well they learned the hard way

    Maybe they survived because it seems it didn´t explode when it hit the ground and since it is a farm it seems, it may absorve some of the inpact.

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    Well a Myanmar helicopter went down which is good for the Kachins, but why did it go down?
    Was it hit by a lucky AK 47 shot?
    Was there some malfunction onboard that caused the helicopter to catch fire?
    There is no evidence that the Kachins have ground to air missiles. If they had I am sure they would have shown them to scare off the air attacks . . .

  4. Avatar

    luca

    Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    I wish those who fight for freedom against dictators all the luck in the world

  5. Avatar

    Niko

    Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 7:08 pm

    @Toby Andrews – Even 50mm caliber machine gun will do nothing to those helicopters. Either it was a sholder fired missile or a RPG. The RPG shot would not be easy and would require a lot of skill and some luck. It could all be avoided if he was not flying so high and using flares.

  6. Avatar

    Adrian

    Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 7:46 pm

    @luca –

    well said

  7. Avatar

    BJoe

    Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 11:14 pm

    As reprehensible and autocratic as the Burmese army is, these so-called rebel groups are often no better. Most are funded by illegal drug activities involving growing, manufacturing, transporting, and the distribution of most of the drugs entering Thailand and much of the western world. So beware of who you choose to favor.

  8. Avatar

    wayno

    Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 1:58 am

    Good luck and stay safe to all those involved in the fight against the Burmese military murderers

  9. Avatar

    Ben

    Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 9:47 am

    Trump would have done the same thing if he had the military on his side.

  10. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 6:42 pm

    Easy prey for a hand launched SAM
    Such equipment is easily available at the right price within the region.

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Thailand

Thai government looks into “humanitarian solution” for detained reporters from Myanmar

Tanutam Thawan

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Stock photo via National News Bureau of Thailand

Following the arrest of 3 journalists from a Myanmar news agency and 2 activists, who all face deportation and charges for entering Thailand illegally, the Thai government says they’re looking for a “humanitarian solution.”

Following the February military coup, the junta attempted to silence the media by revoking licenses allowing outlets to report and arresting journalists.

The editor and director of the broadcast news outlet Democratic Voice of Burma, where the 3 reporters worked, called on Thai authorities to not send the journalists back to Myanmar. The news outlet had its license revoked by the military junta. Director says the reporters “life will be in serious danger if they were to return.”

Thailand’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanee Sangrat recently told reporters that Thai authorities “are coordinating to find a possible humanitarian solution to this case.”

The reporters and activists were arrested in Chiang Mai’s San Sai district for allegedly entering Thailand illegally. The district police chief told Reuters that they would be deported, but they may possibly be held in detention for a 14 day quarantine as a precaution to prevent the spread of Covid-19 before being handed over to immigration.

DVB started as an exile media outlet, reporting on the previous junta and broadcasting uncensored reports. It then moved into Myanmar in 2012. The outlet’s broadcast license was revoked in March, a month after the recent military coup, but DVB continued to report on the protests and military takeover.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Thailand

3 journalists from Myanmar arrested in Chiang Mai

Tanutam Thawan

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Stock photo / Photo by Macau Photo Agency for Unsplash

Police in Northern Thailand arrested 3 senior journalists who had fled Myanmar due to orders from the military junta to stop reporting, the director and editor of the news agency Democratic Voice of Burma said in an email to the Associated Press.

The journalists, along with 2 associates, were arrested yesterday in Chiang Mai for allegedly illegally entering Thailand. Police were doing a random search, the editor says.

Since the February military coup in Myanmar, ousting state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi who had won the election in a landslide, more than 750 people have been killed by security forces. The military takeover also led to a clash with ethnic armies who support the anti-coup movement, including the prominent armed wing of the Karen National Union. Around 2,000 Karen refugees have fled to Thailand’s Mae Hong Son province due to violence between the Karen troops and the state military.

The junta has attempted to silence independent news media by arresting dozens of journalists and by revoking licenses that had allowed agencies to report in Myanmar. The Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand, or FCCT, says more than 70 journalists have been arrested since February. The Associated Press says there are currently around 40 journalists in detention in Myanmar, including at least 2 that work for DVB.

Many of the journalists arrested by the military junta are being held for violating Myanmar’s Penal Code which prohibits comments that “cause fear,” spread “false news, agitates directly or indirectly a criminal offence against a Government employee.” The charge carries a punishment of up to 3 years in prison.

The editor of DVB is urging Thai authorities not to deport the detained journalists and activists, saying “their life will be in serious danger if they were to return.” Photos in Thai media shows what looks like a video production studio set up at a home.

“They have been covering the demonstrations in Burma until March 8 – the day the military authority revoked DVB’s TV license and banned DVB from doing any kind of media work.”

The FCCT also released a statement calling on Thai authorities to release the journalists and offer them protection in Thailand.

These 5 individuals would face certain arrest and persecution, if not worse, for their work and association with the DVB, and under no circumstances should they be deported back to Myanmar.

Rather, the DVB journalists and their associates should be released from detention, urgently offered protection, and granted the right to remain temporarily in Thailand.

SOURCE: Associated Press

 

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Thailand

‘Safe zone’ in Thailand for refugees fleeing Myanmar violence

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ Karen Information Centre

Due to the ongoing violence between the Myanmar military and ethnic troops, the Thai military has set up a “safe zone” for thousands of refugees in Mae Hong Son near the Salween River, the natural border between Thailand and Myanmar.

The prominent armed wing of the Karen National Union has openly supported the anti-coup movement in Myanmar, leading to clashes with the military junta. Recently, the Karen National Liberation Army reported took over a military outpost near the Thai border. Those just across the Salween River in Thailand said they could hear the gunshots and explosions.

Defence Ministry spokesperson Kongcheep Tantravanich says shelter and humanitarian assistance are being provided for around 2,200 people who have fled Myanmar.

Kongcheep says the “safe zone” is under tight security and only those authorised can enter. There are strict health and disease control measures are in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

His statement comes after the local civil rights group People of Salween River Basin Network called on the Thai government not to push refugees back, claiming that Thai soldiers had been ordered to tell the refugees to return to their home country due to a potential negative impact with border trade.

They say the Myanmar military has been carrying out airstrikes on Karen army bases and many Karen villagers fear for their safety.

Mae Hong Son governor, Sitthichai Jindaluang, also told a United Nations representative last week that refugees have been given shelter and assistance.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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