West News Wire: Despite the deaths of over 1,300 people since the February 1, anti-military rallies have continued. Myanmar security forces slammed into an anti coup rally in Yangon on Sunday morning, killing five people and arresting at least 15, according to local news outlet Myanmar Now. Scores of people were hurt on the spot.
On social media, photos and videos show a vehicle crashing into demonstrators and victims lying on the road.
Despite the morning violence, another demonstration was staged in Yangon in the afternoon. The scattered protests are often small groups voicing opposition to the overthrow of an elected government led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and the return of military rule.
Witnesses told that a “flash mob” demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, was squashed minutes after it began, and that police arrested many people.
“I was struck and fell in front of a truck. I was beaten with a gun by a soldier, but I defended myself and pushed him back. Then he opened fire on me as I dashed away in a zig-zag style. Fortunately, I was able to flee “A demonstrator who wanted not to be recognized for security concerns told Myanmar Now.
Two witnesses reported a civilian car staffed by troops attacked the group from behind and chased the scattering demonstrators, detaining and assaulting them. According to witnesses, several were critically hurt with head wounds and were unconscious.
A spokesman for the ruling junta did not answer calls seeking comment on Sunday. The military has said that protesters who have been killed instigated the violence. It says it staged the coup because a November election won by Suu Kyi‘s party was rigged. The election commission has dismissed the assertion. Wars with ethnic minority insurgents in remote frontier regions in the north and east have intensified significantly since the coup, displacing tens of thousands of civilians, according to United Nations estimates.
Suu Kyi, 76, faces a dozen cases against her including incitement and violations of COVID-19 protocols.