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Myanmar army truck attacks protesters, kills at least three

BANGKOK – An army vehicle plowed into a peaceful march by anti-government protesters in the army-ruled Myanmar’s largest city on Sunday, reportedly killing at least three people, the witnesses and a protest organizer said.

Sunday’s march was one of at least three held in Yangon, and similar marches were reported in other parts of the country a day before the expected ruling in The case is the first of about a dozen criminal cases against Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was ousted in a military takeover on February 1.

A video posted on social media showed a small army truck driving straight into the parade from behind. The voice could be heard: “The car is coming… Please help! It hit the children… Oh! … Die! … Run, … run!” The video shows about a dozen people running from the spot.

One witness told the AP news agency that protesters were on his street for just two minutes when the military truck hit them, leaving three unmoving people lying in the street.

“About five armed soldiers got out of their cars and chased the protesters,” the witness said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of being arrested. “They opened fire and also arrested the young people who were hit by the car. At least 10 people have been arrested.”

Security forces have previously used cars to attack protesters since the army came to power. They have also freely used live ammunition, killing about 1,300 civilians, according to a detailed list compiled by the Association for the Support of Political Prisoners.

The use of lethal force by the military and police has led to less-than-large-scale street protests, but instead to small-scale, rapid marches that often fall apart at first sight. of the authorities.

Sunday’s deaths in Yangon’s Kyeemyindaing neighborhood could not be immediately confirmed.

Another witness said that when some people came to collect their belongings, three more military vehicles arrived and arrested some of them.

“At least four people, including two young girls crying near the shoes, have been arrested,” he said. “The soldiers told us to go inside or they would shoot us.”

About 30 people joined the march, according to a member of Yangon People’s Strike, the local resistance group that organized it. Media posted online showed protesters carrying banners featuring Suu Kyi, and calling for the immediate release of the country’s detained civilian leaders.

The organizer, who declined to be named because of threats of arrest, said the group organized such rallies to keep people engaged in the struggle against the military-founded government.

At the same time, urban militia groups have attacked officials and planted bombs, while extensive armed conflict has engulfed rural areas, leading to warnings the country could fall into civil war. .

Since being detained by the military, Suu Kyi has faced charges of violating coronavirus regulations to corruption. They were seen as contrived to discredit her and justify a military takeover.

The military claims it acted because last November’s election was marked by widespread voter fraud. Independent observers of the polls, won by Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party, say they have seen no evidence to support the army’s claims.

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