Car rams into flash mob protesters in Yangon

July 8th, 2022  •  Author:   Anti-coup protesters (Yangon Region)  •  3 minute read
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Flash mob protesters hold up a banner moments before a vehicle runs into them (Supplied)

Regime forces have repeatedly deployed their vehicles to crack down on anti-junta protests since last year’s coup

By Myanmar Now

One person was hurt on Thursday after a car rammed into a group of protesters in Yangon’s Hlaing Township, according to activist sources.

The incident occurred at around 3pm, shortly after a flash mob of around 20 people carrying a protest banner started shouting slogans near the Thukha bus stop on Insein Road, the sources said.

“The car rammed into us just seconds into our demonstration. The guy at the far left was hit and thrown into the air,” said one person who took part in the protest.

Myat Min Khant, the Yangon district chair of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU), told Myanmar Now that all of the protesters, including the one who was hit, fled the scene after the incident.

“The person who was hit managed to escape, but his arm was injured,” he said.

A car hits a protester in Yangon’s Hlaing Township on July 7 (Supplied)

Myanmar Now has received a video that shows the moment of impact. In it, a white Toyota Belta can be seen running into a masked protester holding one end of the banner.

According to Myat Min Khant, a black item that exploded with a loud bang, believed to be a flash grenade, was thrown out of the vehicle as it sped away.

Thursday’s protest was held to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the day that Myanmar’s first dictator, General Ne Win, blew up the Yangon University Student Union building on July 7, 1962.

“With a strong mind, we will fight for a new world. Never forget what happened on 7.7.1962” read the banner carried by the protesters.

A friend of the man who was hit by the car shared a screenshot of a conversation he had with him later that day on Facebook.

“The first thought that jumped into my head was that I had to take care of my parents, and so I just ran in a panic. My legs are still sore even now,” the man said.

According to a Facebook group called Hlaing Info, plainclothes officers were seen searching the area near the Thukha bus stop soon after the protesters had scattered.

While it could not be confirmed that regime authorities were responsible for the apparently deliberate attack on the protesters, it would not be the first time that the junta had used a vehicle to crack down on an anti-dictatorship demonstration.

In December of last year, regime forces were captured on video at they plowed into a crowd of protesters on Panbingyi Street in Yangon’s Kyimyindaing Township, killing or injuring several people before making a number of arrests.

In April, junta troops riding in a double cab pickup truck smashed into a taxi while trying to hit a crowd of marchers in Yangon’s Okkalapa Township. The three people inside the taxi, including two women from the Confederation of Trade Unions, Myanmar, were arrested after the collision.

The latest incident was on May 30, when five teenagers suffered multiple injuries after regime soldiers ran their vehicle into them following a flash mob protest in South Okkalapa Township.

The five minors were then beaten and arrested, according to the ABFSU’s Myat Min Khant.

Burmese version.

Original Post: Myanmar Now