Military Council Destroy Evidence of Downed Helicopter in Bawlakhe Township

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By Kantarawaddy Times

Junta soldiers have destroyed the remnants of a helicopter that was shot down by Karenni resistance groups in Bawlakhe Township to hide the evidence, says Karenni Army (KA) Adjutant General Col Phone Naing. However, he said they have already documented the downed chopper with a drone.

Phone Naing explained that they shot at the Mi-17 on May 6, when it was deployed with another helicopter to retrieve wounded soldiers from Infantry Battalion 143. The attacked helicopter eventually crashed near Pun River, located about 4 miles from Bawlakhe town. Although it didn’t successfully pick up the injured regime soldiers, the second one apparently did.

Burma army soldiers guarded the downed chopper until another helicopter picked them up, as well as the dead pilots, he told Kantarawaddy Times. The soldiers also removed some valuable parts of the aircraft before lighting it on fire.

“There were 11 Burma army soldiers onboard, including the pilot. Of these, 8 were killed when the helicopter crashed to the ground. The other 3 were injured,” he said.

Karenni People’s Liberation Army (KPLA), reported the helicopter crashing near Chi Kwe and Nan Nauk villages in Bawlakhe Township, close to Hpasawng Township.

Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) information officer Tar Eh Soe said they and other resistance forces clashed with the Burma army near the site of the crashed helicopter until the evening.

On the same day the attack happened, a regime vehicle ran over a concealed landmine planted by Karenni resistance groups, causing casualties and damaging the vehicle, which was traveling to Bawlakhe town from Htoo Chaung.

The conflict in Hpasawng Township and the town sharing the same name has intensified, as the regime ramps up airstrikes and artillery assaults on the KA, KNPLF, KNDF, and People’s Defense Force, which are aiming to seize the remaining Infantry Battalion (IB) 135 bases after securing positions held by IB 134.

This offensive is part of a larger strategy to force the Burma army from Karenni State, where significant progress has been made towards capturing the capital Loikaw, while the town of Shadaw was seized several months ago.

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