Five people were killed after Myanmar security forces rammed an SUV into a crowd of anti-coup protesters in Yangon, the country’s largest city in Southeast Asia, local media reported .
Dozens of people took part in the march early on Sunday, with people chanting slogans, carrying portraits of the fallen Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and a large red banner that read: “Free from fear. “
Crowds occupied a road, blocking traffic, and security forces then used the harshest means to disperse the unauthorized gathering. to flee.
Witnesses then got out of the SUV and started chasing the dispersing protesters, beating and arresting those they could catch.
Five people lost their lives as a result of the ramming, while 15 others were eventually arrested, Myanmar Now reports. Witnesses also spoke of dozens of injuries, some people losing consciousness and others head injuries.
“I was hit and fell in front of a truck. A soldier beat me with his rifle but I defended myself and pushed him back. Then he immediately shot me as I zigzagged away ”, one of the protesters, who managed to escape, told Reuters.
Myanmar has been in turmoil since February when the military decided to arrest Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior officials in the country. Last month, they were charged with voter fraud in the 2020 poll, but dismissed the charges. International observers, who worked on the election, said it was mostly free and fair.
Thousands of people took to the streets of the country in the aftermath of the coup, but faced violent repression, with police and military often resorting to live fire at crowds.
More than 1,300 protesters have been killed in Myanmar in the past ten months, according to the prisoner aid organization AAPP. The army denies these figures.
The scale of the protests has diminished since the coup, many protesters switched to guerrilla tactics and organized smaller “flash mob” rallies across the country.