Pro-Myanmar Military Mob Attacks Jeering Onlookers in Yangon

By The Irrawaddy 26 February 2021

Yangon – Around 10 people have been wounded by pro-military protesters in central Yangon after they were booed by onlookers.

In an attempt to counter the anti-regime protests, on Thursday a few hundred military supporters – claiming to be civilian supporters of the regime – gathered near the Yangon Railway Station. They marched to Sule Road in the city center, waving the national flag and signs with phrases like, “We stand with our defence services”.

A pro-military activist extends his middle finger at jeering pedestrians. / The Irrawaddy

Riot police blocking access to anti-regime protesters opened their barricades for the pro-military procession.

They were denounced and booed by residents and pedestrians and the group retaliated violently, injuring several people.

CCTV and media pictures showed the group carrying swords, knives and big sticks. Pictures showed military supporters attacking a pedestrian with knives and bystanders trying to help him. They also tried to attack journalists covering the rally.

Military supporters march to central Yangon on Thursday morning. / The Irrawaddy

The procession clashed with residents at Thein Phyu near the station, leaving some residents injured.

Myanmar’s military regimes before 2011 used armed gangs called “Swan Arr Shin” (masters of force) to counter public resistance, creating instability and often justifying a subsequent crackdown to “restore order”.

Pro-military militants attack anti-regime demonstrators near Yangon Railway Station with slingshots and sticks. / Thet Tin Win

Before the Feb. 1 coup, pro-military rallies in Yangon denounced the National League for Democracy’s landslide victory in the November general election and called for a military intervention. Some residents and journalists covering the events were also injured.

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