Election 2020

Fourteen NLD Supporters Injured in Attack by Pro-USDP Mob in Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady Region

By Salai Thant Zin 12 October 2020

PATHEIN, Ayeyarwady Region—People campaigning for the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) attacked a group of National League for Democracy (NLD) supporters in Hinthada Township, Ayeyarwady Region on Saturday, injuring 14 people, according to the NLD township chapter.

Over 2,000 supporters of the Myanmar military’s proxy USDP held a rally in Hinthada on Saturday. As they returned from the rally and arrived at Tagwa Village, some of the male USDP supporters swore at and flashed a group of girls at a house where NLD campaign songs were being played, according to NLD Hinthada Township chapter information officer Ko Kyaw Zeya Oo.

“This led to a clash with local residents, and the USDP supporters started throwing rocks they had brought with them in their vehicles. Fourteen people were injured,” he told The Irrawaddy.

The USDP supporters reportedly also beat people wearing NLD shirts and threw rocks at houses where NLD flags were hoisted. Some houses had their roofs damaged in the attack, according to villagers.

It was the first incident of election-related violence reported in Ayeyarwady Region since the campaign period for next month’s election began on Sept. 8.

“I came outside my house to watch the rally, and I was hit by USDP members with sticks,” said Tagwa resident U Mya Aye.

Those injured were supporters of the NLD but not party members; 13 suffered flesh wounds and the 14th had to be admitted to Hinthada Hospital for treatment.

U Htay Win, the information officer at the USDP’s Hinthada chapter, claimed the NLD supporters attacked the USDP campaigners first.

“We drove through nearly 100 villages on the campaign trail [on Saturday], and there was no problem. The Tagwa Village residents threw stones at us first. We have video evidence. It happened only because they started throwing stones at us,” he said.

The 14 Tagwa residents who were injured in the clash are planning to file a complaint with the Hinthada Township police station.

With the general election slated for Nov. 8, NLD and USDP supporters have been staging large-scale rallies in their respective townships in Ayeyarwady Region.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko

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