Updated December 31st, 2023 at 16:36 IST

Myanmar's pro-democracy fighters unleash 'Bomber 8' on military Junta forces

Myanmar's pro-democracy fighters have introduced 'Bomber 8,' a weaponized drone, marking a pivotal moment in their resistance against the military junta.

Reported by: Yuvraj Tyagi
Myanmar Army | Image:AP
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Myanmar's pro-democracy fighters have taken a bold step in their resistance against the military junta by unveiling 'Bomber 8,' a weaponized drone that is reshaping the dynamics of the ongoing civil war. Ethnic groups within Myanmar, united in their quest for democracy, have collaborated to develop and deploy these drones, carrying explosive payloads and marking a significant escalation in the conflict. 

In recent weeks, 'Bomber 8' has been at the forefront of a series of drone attacks, targeting military positions, displacing junta troops, and even claiming the life of a brigadier general near the China border. The conflict's focal point has shifted to Myanmar's northern Shan state, where the Arkhan Army, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, and Tang National Liberation Army have jointly launched offensives against the military junta since October. 

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Namsan’s strategic capture and 'Bomber 8' unveiling 

Adding to the rebels' achievements, a strategic capture of Namsan, a prominent tourist hub, has redrawn the front lines of Myanmar's civil war. The rebels have named their latest weapon, 'Bomber 8,' reflecting its capacity to carry explosives weighing up to 6 kilograms. The drone unit leader emphasizes a strategic focus on attacking junta military bases, located a mere 4 kilometers away, showcasing the precision and impact of these aerial assaults.

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Pro-democracy fighters in Myanmar. Credit- AP

Myanmar's civil war, marked by clashes between ethnic armies and successive military governments, has a longstanding history. However, the recent surge in conflict follows the coup d'état on February 1, 2021, led by army chief Min Aung Hlaing. The coup resulted in the removal of the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, sparking widespread pro-democracy protests and resistance. 

Coup fallout and ongoing crisis 

The coup d'état saw the military deposing democratically elected members of the National League for Democracy (NLD), leading to the detention of President Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. Charges against the detained leaders were viewed as attempts to legitimize the military's power grab. In response, the People's Defence Force of the National Unity Government launched armed insurgencies against the junta's crackdown on anti-coup protests. 

Meanwhile, as a modified commercial drone carrying significant firepower, Bomber 8 represents a tool of resistance and defiance. The unveiling of 'Bomber 8’ showcases the determination of Myanmar's pro-democracy forces to challenge the military junta's authority and marks a new chapter in the evolving nature of the conflict. The international community continues to closely monitor the situation, as the crisis unfolds with 'Bomber 8' at the forefront of Myanmar's struggle for democracy. 

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Published December 31st, 2023 at 16:36 IST