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Survivors of raid that left two people dead face up to life in prison

Seven people who were arrested during a raid on an apartment on Yangon’s 44th Street last month have been charged under the Explosive Substances Act, Myanmar Now has learned.

A district court heard the cases against the seven suspects on Friday, according to Tin Zaw, the father of Ye Min Oo, who is one of the accused.

Ye Min Oo, Min Thitsar Aung, Wai Yan Htet, Thiha Kaung Sett, and Phyo Wai Aung have all been charged with making and possessing explosives with the intent to endanger life and face up to life in prison if found guilty.

A sixth suspect, Poe Kyawt Kyawt Khant, was charged with unlawful possession of an explosive, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.

A taxi driver hired by the group, has been charged as an accessory under Section 6 of the colonial-era law.

Five of the suspects are currently being held in Insein Prison, while two are being treated for injuries resulting from the dramatic raid, which left two people dead after they plunged three storeys to the ground as they attempted to escape.

Wai Wai Myint and Wai Zaw Phyoe both died instantly after the fall, while Ye Min Oo, Min Thitsar Aung, and Wai Yan Htet survived with serious injuries.

Tin Zaw said that his son Ye Min Oo, who appeared in person at the hearing on Friday, did not appear to have fully recovered from his injuries.

“I’m just worried about his leg. We saw him walk with a limp on his left leg. He also told us that his spine hurts when he coughs,” he said.

“We got to meet him briefly. We tried to encourage him as he went up the stairs at the court,” he added.

Min Thitsar Aung and Wai Yan Htet, who are still undergoing treatment at the 500-bed military hospital in Mingaladon Township, made their court appearances through video link, according to Tin Zaw.

The junta claims that during the raid on the apartment, its forces discovered 16 explosive devices, including handmade bombs and firecrackers.

Kaung Min Thant, the only members of the group to escape, told Myanmar Now that the regime forces assaulted the survivors of the fall before taking them into custody.

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