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Myanmar: Military helicopter shot down by Kachin rebels when plot bomb kills 5

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

“The military council launched air strikes in the area at about 8 or 9 this morning … with the help of jet fighters, and also fired with the help of a helicopter, so we responded against them,” spokesman Nau Boo said by telephone.

He declined to say what weapons were used.

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

Meanwhile, bombings in at least one shipment in southern Myanmar have killed five people, including the ousted lawmaker and three police officers who joined a civil disobedience movement opposing military rule, media reported on Tuesday.
Myanmar is witnessing a growing number of small explosions in residential areas, sometimes targeting government offices or military facilities, as the elected government, led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, was overthrown on February 1st.

The latest blasts were in a village in western Bago and occurred around 5:00 p.m. Local time on Monday, Myanmar’s news portal now reported, citing a resident.

Three explosions were caused when at least one plot of land exploded in a house in the village, killing a regional MP from Su Zhi’s National League for Democracy (NLD), as well as three police officers and a resident, the report said.

Another police officer involved in the civil disobedience movement was also seriously injured after his hands were blown up by the blast, the resident was quoted as saying. He was hospitalized and was being treated, it said.

Khit Thit media also reported the blasts, citing an unnamed NLD employee in the area.

Reuters was unable to independently verify reports of the helicopter or packet bombs, and a military spokesman did not answer a phone call asking for comment.

Myanmar's military is waging war against its citizens.  Some say it's time to strike back

In another sign of growing insecurity, the junta-appointed head of the Yangetta department’s administrative office in Yangon was stabbed in his office and later died of his wounds, Khit Thit Media reported. Two residents of the district confirmed the report. Police did not respond to a request for comment.

The Association for the Assistance of the Association of Political Prisoners (AAPP) says security forces have killed at least 766 civilians since the coup.

The junta disputes the figure, saying at least 24 members of the security forces were killed during the protests. Reuters is unable to check the victims because of the curbs placed on the media by the junta. Many journalists are among the thousands detained.

The junta said it needed to seize power because its allegations of fraud in the November election, won by Suu Kyi’s party, were not considered by an election commission that considered it a fair vote.

Suu Kyi, 75, was detained after the coup along with many other members of her party. The AAPP says more than 3,600 people are currently being detained for opposing the military.

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