Myanmar Junta Sparks Outrage by Ramming Peaceful Protesters
By The Irrawaddy 6 December 2021
Myanmar’s regime forces on Sunday morning rammed a military vehicle into peaceful protesters in Yangon, reportedly killing five demonstrators and injuring several others.
The junta forces attacked a flash-mob protest in Kyimyindaing Township which coincided with regime leader Min Aung Hlaing’s visit to the city to meet retired military figures.
Protesters held banners in support of detained State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, calling for the establishment of democracy and release of detained civilians. The vehicle accelerated when it got closer to the protesters and rammed directly into protesters, witnesses told The Irrawaddy.
Videos and photographs show the vehicle at high speed deliberately driving into civilians from behind the protest. Pictures show at least three bodies lying in the road. A blood-soaked hat, shirt and shoes were left scattered.
Witnesses said five people were expected to be killed and around 15 were detained, including those injured and those assisting the wounded.
A protester who escaped told The Irrawaddy that soldiers beat injured protesters on the ground with rifles butts and opened fire on civilians.
“My hands, knee and waist were injured. When it hit me, I fell on the vehicle’s hood. A soldier hit my head with his rifle butt. I pushed and kicked him in the chest. We were both upside down. Fearing he would fire, I kicked his rifle. But he held on and he fired at me. Luckily, I slipped and the bullet missed,” the protester said.
“I ran. The soldiers followed and shot at me but they missed. I found a taxi and left. I saw one reporter who was badly injured and taken by soldiers into their vehicle.”
At least two reporters covering the protest were hit by the vehicle and detained.
Another anti-regime protest was held in Yangon later on Sunday.
By Dec. 4, the regime had killed at least 1,303 civilians and arrested more than 10,000 people since the February coup. Over 100 civilians have been tortured to death in interrogation.
The UN and the US Embassy in Yangon condemned the attack on the unarmed protesters on Sunday, called for an end to violence and the release of those detained.
The regime claimed on Sunday night that its forces dispersed an unlawful riot. The regime said it had only detained 11 protesters, including three females and three people with injuries. The report did not mention the ramming by the vehicle.
A legal source said the regime forces were guilty of “deliberately killing” protesters with lethal force.
“The young protesters held only flowers. The violation [by gathering without a permit] would only bring up to one year in prison but troops rammed into them and shot at them. There can be no legal justification,” the source said.
The attack has inflamed people throughout the country with other protests reported elsewhere.
The parallel civilian National Unity Government said in a statement that it will strongly respond to the “terrorist” junta which brutally and inhumanly killed the unarmed protesters.
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