Karenni Soldiers Shoot Down Junta Helicopter in Hpasawng Township

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By Kantarawaddy Times

The Karenni resistance, battling the Burma army in Hpasawng Township, said that a regime helicopter, sent to collect injured soldiers from their camp in the town sharing the same name as the township, has been shot down in southern Karenni State.

Karenni Army (KA) spokesperson Col Phone Naing told Kantarawaddy Times they fired at the Mi-17 helicopter as it attempted to land at 11 am on Monday. The aircraft crashed in Bawlakhe Township fifteen minutes later, killing both of the two pilots. A second chopper was able to rescue the soldiers and land successfully in Bawlakhe town.

Fighting in Hpasawng town has escalated, with the regime increasing airstrikes and artillery attacks on a consortium of resistance forces—KA, Karenni National People’s Liberation Front, Karenni Nationalities Defense Force, and People’s Defense Force—fighting to capture the remaining Infantry Battalion (IB) 135 bases from the town after seizing the IB 134’s positions.

This operation is part of a broader campaign to force the Burma army from Karenni State, which has seen the near capture of the Loikaw capital and the town of Shadaw, among others.

Since the coup over three years ago, the Karenni resistance has destroyed two jet fighters. A K-8W fighter jet was downed on June 30, and another aircraft was destroyed on November 11.

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