Myanmar military jet shot down by Karenni resistance, group says

The junta blamed the incident on engine failure, but the KNDF claims it shot the aircraft down during fighting on Sunday

A Myanmar military jet crashed in the east of the country where fighting is ongoing, the junta said on Sunday, with anti-coup fighters claiming they shot it down.

The country has been riven by conflict since the 2021 military coup, with multiple armed ethnic groups battling the junta on different fronts.

In the last two weeks, fighting has intensified in northern Shan State, near the Chinese border in what analysts say poses the biggest military challenge to the generals since they seized power.

The light fighter jet, carrying two pilots, came down Saturday between the eastern Karen (Kayin) and Karenni (Kayah) states.

Junta spokesperson Zaw Min Tun told state news MRTV that the jet was on a training flight and came down due to engine failure.

He said both pilots were in contact with the military.

It comes as armed groups in Karenni State and the junta clashed over the weekend, Zaw Min Tun told MRTV.

The Karenni Nationalities Defence Force (KNDF) claimed to have shot down the plane, but did not detail how it had been brought down.

“We are looking for remains and the two pilots now,” KNDF chair Khun Bedu told AFP.

The KNDF is among dozens of groups battling to restore democracy after the army ousted Myanmar’s elected civilian government in February 2021.

Almost 50,000 people have been displaced in the fighting in Shan State, according to the United Nations, after three anti-junta groups launched a combined offensive.

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