A Myanmar National Airlines passenger was reportedly shot in the face today as bullets passed through the fuselage of an ATR 72. The aircraft was flying into the city of Loikaw, Myanmar, carrying 63 people.
Myanmar has been under military rule following a coup d’état in February 2021. As a result, there has been widespread unrest across the nation over the last 19 months. The ongoing civil war has seen thousands killed, and the conflict continues to take its toll on the country.
Amid this chaos, a Myanmar National Airlines passenger flight was shot at when landing at Loikaw. Myanmar’s military junta states that the aircraft was flying from the country’s capital, Naypyidaw. As it landed, it received shelling at a height of approximately 1,000 m (3,280 ft), about (3.7 mi) north of Loikaw Airport. The junta has blamed the anti-junta militia and the Karenni National Progressive Party for the attack.
The statement reads the following, according to Al Arabiya:
“A passenger on board was injured on the right cheek because of a gunshot. The injured passenger is now being given treatment at Loikaw People’s Hospital and security forces are performing security process in the area where the attack happened.”
No other casualties have been reported. However, passengers were frightened for their lives when touching down in the capital of Kayah State.
XY-AML is the ATR-72-600 that was involved in the incident. The turboprop was delivered to the airline in November 2018 from Toulouse. It is joined by seven other units of its type in the carrier’s fleet. According to ch-aviation, Myanmar National Airlines also holds two Boeing 737-800s. Moreover, the state-owned company operates a pair of E190s, the first of which was introduced in December 2020.
Tracing its roots back to 1948, Myanmar National Airlines has had a history full of several twists and turns and name changes. Its main base is Yangon International Airport, and it navigates the country’s tricky air travel requirements from top to bottom with its popular turboprops.
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The situation remains severe
Altogether, a state of emergency is still in place across Myanmar. The United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advises against all but essential travel to Myanmar, except for the Yangon region.
The FCDO summarizes:
“The security situation in Myanmar is unpredictable and liable to change without notice. There is significant conflict and violence across many of Myanmar’s states and regions, involving air strikes, artillery bombardments, landmines and armed clashes. In urban areas, there have been shootings and targeted explosions.”
Last week, six children were killed in an air strike on a school in the Sagaing region, according to ABC. The situation remains critical across Myanmar following today’s shooting.
Source: Al Arabiya; ABC