Five people were killed and at least 15 arrested when a car collided with Myanmar security forces at an anti-coup protest in Yangon on Sunday morning, local news portal Myanmar Now reported
Witnesses at the scene told Reuters that dozens of people were injured. Photos and videos on social media show a vehicle colliding with protesters and bodies lying on the road.
Anti-military protests continue despite more than 1,300 people being killed since the February 1 coup. Scattered protests are often small groups that voice their opposition to the overthrow of an elected government led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and the return of military rule.
On Sunday, a “flash mob” broke into Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon, minutes after protests began, and witnesses told Reuters police had arrested several people.
“I was hit and fell in front of a truck. A soldier beat me with his rifle but I defended and pushed him back. Then he immediately shot at me as I ran in a zig-zag pattern. Luckily I survived,” a protester who asked not to be identified for security reasons told Reuters over the phone.
Two witnesses said a civilian car occupied by soldiers hit the crowd from behind, arresting and beating scattered protesters. According to eyewitnesses, some people sustained severe head injuries and fainted.
A spokesman for the ruling junta did not respond to a call seeking comment on Sunday.
Wars with ethnic minority rebels in remote border regions of the north and east have intensified since the coup, according to UN estimates, displacing thousands of civilians.
Suu Kyi, 76, is facing a dozen cases, including breach of COVID-19 protocol and abetment.
He has so far denied all the charges.