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Myanmar military slammed after protest turns deadly

At least five are killed as security forces ram a military truck into peaceful protesters in Yangon

UCA News reporter

UCA News reporter

Published: December 06, 2021 05:38 AM GMT

Updated: December 06, 2021 05:45 AM GMT

Myanmar military slammed after protest turns deadly

Protesters hold a banner as they take part in a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon on Dec. 5, the same day the military rammed a vehicle into a peaceful rally. (Photo: AFP)

The United Nations and the US have joined activists and the people of Myanmar to strongly condemn a barbaric act by security forces who rammed a car into peaceful protesters.

At least five people were killed and 15 were arrested after a military truck drove into protesters in Yangon on Dec. 5 morning, according to local media reports.

A video that went viral on social media showed the truck ramming into the group as around 30 protesters fled in the opposite direction. It also showed bodies lying on the road.

“I am deeply concerned by the reported attack on a number of unarmed civilians in Yangon, when a vehicle belonging to the security forces rammed into protesters who were then fired upon with live ammunition,” said Ramanathan Balakrishnan, UN resident coordinator in Myanmar.

“I condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms and pass on my deepest condolences to the families of all those who were killed or injured.

“Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and the Dec. 5 action by security forces is completely unacceptable. Those responsible for excessive and disproportionate use of force against unarmed civilians must be held to account.” 

The military’s widespread use of brutal violence underscores the urgency of restoring Burma’s path to inclusive democracy

The US embassy in Myanmar said it was horrified by the reports that security forces opened fire on, ran over and killed several peaceful protesters.

“The military’s widespread use of brutal violence underscores the urgency of restoring Burma’s path to inclusive democracy,” the embassy said, referring to the country by its old name.

The embassy added that it supported the right of the people of Burma to protest peacefully.

“We will strongly respond to the terrorist military who brutally, inhumanly killed the unarmed peaceful protesters,” the defense ministry of the National Unity Government (NUG) said.

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“Will the world stand by silently? Will world leaders delay and equivocate? Will the international community wait for the military to exterminate the ethnic minorities? The free world is once against faced with the opportunity to prevent genocide. A chance to stop ongoing crimes against humanity,” said Dr. Sasa, spokesperson of the NUG.

Despite the bloody violence in the morning, another protest continued in Yangon in the afternoon on Dec. 5, while several protests in Mandalay and elsewhere were held to show solidarity with the peaceful protesters in Yangon, the country’s commercial hub.

People banged on pots — an act believed to keep the devil away — in several townships in Yangon following the military’s deadly crackdown on protesters.

Anti-junta protests led by young people are a regular occurrence in Yangon, Mandalay and other cities as well as villages and flash protests quickly follow crackdowns by security forces who use excessive force and live ammunition.

While world leaders have repeatedly called for the military to end the violence, the junta has continued with a scorched earth campaign in villages and ethnic areas where armed resistance has been strongest. Hundreds of houses and several churches have been set ablaze in recent months, leading to thousands of people fleeing their homes.

More than 1,300 people have been killed and at least 9,000 have been detained by the junta since the Feb. 1 coup, according to a local monitoring group.

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