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Search operations continue for missing military jet

FILE PHOTO: A Burmese Soko G-4 Super Galeb jet. (Wikicommons)

Search and rescue operations were continuing on Thursday for a Burmese military jet that disappeared during a training exercise in Irrawaddy Division on the morning of 5 September.

The G-4 fighter jet was 38 miles into a 100-mile flight from Pathein to Hinthada when it lost communication with ground staff at Pathein Airport. Two other G-4 jets had been accompanying the plane on the training mission.

The military has deployed aircraft, helicopters and ground forces along the route since Tuesday morning but no signs of the jet have been reported.

It was not immediately clear how many people were on board, however a military statement identified one pilot by name, Maj Kaung Htike.

The incident comes just two months after a Burmese military aircraft crashed into the Andaman Sea with 122 soldiers, family members and crew on board. All are now presumed to have perished in the crash.

The Chinese-made Y-8-200F transport plane disappeared on 7 June, while flying at 18,000 feet (5,485 metres) on a weekly flight from Dawei in southern Burma to Rangoon. The cause of the crash has yet to be determined.

Other recent accidents in Burma involving military aircraft include a helicopter that crashed in June 2016, killing three armed forces personnel. And five persons were reportedly killed in February 2016 when an air force plane crashed near the Burmese capital, Naypyidaw.