Three detained after soldiers ram truck into Yangon anti-coup protest 

Junta soldiers drove a vehicle into a crowd of protesters in Yangon on Wednesday afternoon, missing the marchers but smashing into a car carrying three women taking part in the demonstration, a witness told Myanmar Now. 

After the collision, the troops took the women away, said Zaw Htet, a protester from Youth Union, one of the groups involved in the flash mob demonstration. “They held the women at gunpoint and made them sit in formation,” he said.

The women, aged 23, 25 and 30, were trying to escape in the car when they were hit, said Zaw Htet, adding that he did not know where the soldiers took them. 

Two of those detained–Khine Thinzar Aye and Ei Phyu Phyu Myint–are members of the Confederation of Trade Unions, Myanmar, the union said on Wednesday. The identity of the third woman has not yet been revealed. 

At around 4:25pm, just minutes after the protest started on Thanthumar road in South Okkalapa, some ten troops riding in a double cab pickup truck came hurtling towards the crowd of roughly 30 people. 

“We saw them speeding towards us from Myittar street just minutes after the protest started and we dispersed to the sides of the road,” he said. “That was the only reason this didn’t end up the same way as it did on Panbingyi street.”

In December, junta forces drove into a crowd of anti-coup protesters on Yangon’s Panbingyi street, injuring and then arresting several. Witnesses initially told Myanmar Now that five were killed, but it is now unclear if there were fatalities. 

Wednesday’s protest was organised by the Anti-Junta Alliance Yangon, a group of students’ unions and youth organisations from the city.

The crowd chanted: “The oppressors are becoming more cruel,” and “Those who value justice, wake up!” 

“We just wanted to notify people that the military cares for no one’s rights or needs as long as they get to rule the country,” said Zaw Htet.

Regular flash mob protests against the military have continued in Yangon even after soldiers massacred hundreds of peaceful protesters across the country last year. 

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