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Myanmar rebels down helicopter

May 05, 2021 00:00:00

YANGON, May 04 (Reuters): An ethnic rebel group in Myanmar said it had shot down a military helicopter on Monday as fighting in the country's northern and eastern frontier regions intensified following an army coup.

Domestic media also reported that a junta-appointed local administrator had been stabbed to death in the main city, Yangon.

Violence has spiralled since the Feb. 1 coup, with at least 766 civilians reported killed by security forces and increasing confrontation with ethnic armies on Myanmar's fringes and junta opponents in the cities and countryside.

The United Nations estimates that tens of thousands of civilians have fled their homes to escape fighting between the military and insurgents based along the border.

The Kachin Independence Army said the helicopter was shot down around 10:20 a.m. at a village near the town of Moemauk in Kachin province following days of air raids.

"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," said spokesman Naw Bu by telephone.

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