Myanmar news: A passenger travelling in Myanmar Airlines was injured mid-air after he was hit by a bullet that was shot from the ground, local media reports said. The country's government blamed the rebels in the eastern state for the attack. Rebel groups denied the allegation.
The Myanmar National Airlines plane was carrying 63 passengers when it was hit as it was about to land in the capital of Kayah, Loikaw. The bullet entered the plane’s lower fuselage as it was flying at an altitude of 3,500 feet about 4 miles (6.5 kilometres) north of the airport.
Myanmar National Airlines’ office in Loikaw announced that all flights to the city were cancelled indefinitely.
local media MRTV said Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun, a spokesperson for Myanmar’s ruling military council, said the shooting was carried out by “terrorists” belonging to the Karenni National Progressive Party, an ethnic minority militia battling the government, and their allies in the People’s Defense Force, an armed pro-democracy group.
“I want to say that this kind of attack on the passenger plane is a war crime,” he told MRTV by phone. “People and organizations who want peace need to condemn this issue all round.”
Kayah state has experienced intense conflict between the military and local resistance groups since the army seized power last year, overthrowing the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.
(with AP inputs)