KIA Shoots Down Tatmadaw Helicopter in Kachin State

By Network Media Group
Monday, May 3, 2021

A combat helicopter operated by Burma Army was shot down by Kachin Independence Army (KIA) after the military pounded Kachin soldiers with airstrikes and artillery fire for eight straight days, failing to retake Alaw Bum, a strategic mountain position KIA seized from Burma Army in late March.

“Burma Army jet fighters and combat helicopter attacked our troops on Sa-laung Mountain near Kong Law and Myo Thit. We defended ourselves shooting down the helicopter,” Col Naw Bu, spokesperson for KIA’s political wing Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), told NMG.

The helicopter went down in Momauk Township, Kachin State, at about 10am on Monday, May 3, he said.

The KIO spokesperson explained the helicopter was assisting two jet fighters attacking KIA every day for over a week. Additionally, Burma Army is using heavy weapons and sending in ground troops. To recapture Alaw Bum, the military needs to retake Sa-laung Mountain, enabling it to launch an effective offensive, Col Naw Bu said.

Fighting is still breaking out around Myo Thit, Sihat, Kong Law and other villages along the Tar Pain River in the township.

A woman who spoke to NMG from a bunker located not far from where clashes are happening said she could hear the sounds of artillery fire. Fighting has been nonstop since early in the morning, she said. “I heard there were civilian causalities. I’m not sure how many.”

The conflict in Momauk Township has displaced over 5,000 civilians. Most people have taken refuge at Christian churches or Buddhist monasteries.