Myanmar’s Kachin Independence Army (KIA) said it shot down a helicopter that was conducting airstrikes at northern town of Momauk, Kachin province, on Monday morning.
“It happened at around 10:20 a.m. today. The attack on the gunship scared away two fighter jets accompanying the helicopter,” KIA information officer Colonel Naw Bu was quoted as saying by The Irrawaddy. He did not comment on the type of weaponry used to destroy the helicopter.
Residents living close to the crash site claim they saw the helicopter go down after being hit in its tail rotor.
Tensions rose between the military and Kachin group on April 11 after the former used aircraft to bomb KIA outposts. On April 29, KIA launched an artillery attack on the military’s Bhamo Airport.
Momauk surrounds Alaw Bum base on a hill on the Chinese border. The hill, located on the route to the KIA’s headquarters, is strategically important for gaining the military upper hand over areas between Bhamo and Myitkyina.
Myanmar’s military has been attempting to retake the hill since the KIA seized it from the former on March 25.