Burma: 12 dead, including an influential monk, in the crash of a military plane

The crash of a military plane Thursday near Mandalay (pictured), Burma, left at least 12 dead, including 6 soldiers.


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The crash of a military plane Thursday, June 10 near Mandalay, in Burma, left at least 12 dead, including 6 soldiers.

The aircraft reportedly lost contact with the control tower as it approached a steel factory, a few hundred meters from its arrival airport.

Among the victims of the crash, a very influential Buddhist monk, considered close to the head of the Burmese military junta.


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With our correspondent in Bangkok,

Carol Isoux

The famous monk Bathanda Kavisara, about 90 years old, headed one of the largest monasteries in the capital, Naypitaw, which was visited the day after the coup by junta chief General Min Aung Hlaing.

The monk was therefore considered one of his strongest supporters within the hierarchy of the Buddhist clergy.

The incident reminds us of the links between the military regime and certain religious elites.

The Burmese monks are indeed very divided on the question of the coup: many, and in particular the young people, marched with the people against the soldiers.

Bathanda Kavisara was to go and bless the foundations of a new monastery in the town of Pyi Oo Lwin, known to house the academy of military elites, from which General Min Aung Hlaing graduated.

The accident is so far blamed on bad weather and poor air security in the country, but recently armed groups have inflicted heavy losses on the Burmese army, including downing a military helicopter. 

► See also: 

Burma: Aung San Suu Kyi indicted for corruption in a third trial


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