The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) said they shot down a Myanmar military helicopter in retaliation to the air strikes by the military, said an official of the outfit.

Kachin Independence Army (KIA) is one of Myanmar’s most powerful rebel groups.

A media report quoted KIA’s information department head Naw Bu as saying that the helicopter was shot down around 10:20 am on Monday at a village near Moemauk town in Myanmar’s Kachin province.

“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,” the report quoted Bu as saying over the telephone on Monday.

However, the rebel leader refused to divulge about the weapons used in the attack.

As per the United Nations estimates, tens of thousands of civilians have fled their homes as a result of the fighting between the military and ethnic minority insurgents in remote northern and eastern frontier regions of Myanmar.

The conflict intensified after the military coup on February 1.

The military seized power by ousting the elected government led by Aung San Suu Ky.

Atrocities on civilians have been continuing since the military coup.

The people in large numbers have also been protesting against the military coup in Myanmar.

Myanmar security forces on Sunday opened fire on the protestors in which eight people lost their lives, said media reports.

The protests were reportedly coordinated with demonstrations in Myanmar communities around the world to mark what the organisers called “the global Myanmar spring revolution”.

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