The military in Myanmar has arrested an important leader of the anti-coup protests, local media reported and witnesses confirmed to dpa on Thursday.
According to the reports, Wai Moe Naing was taking part in a motorcycle strike in the northern city of Monywa on Thursday, when a car purposefully hit his motorbike, after which he was arrested.
Wai Moe Naing is one of the three leading figures of the protests against the military junta, alongside Ei Thinzar Maung from Yangon, the largest city, and Tayzar San from Mandalay.
The witness, a protester who asked to remain anonymous, said Wai Moe Naing had always been careful to avoid being arrested.
“All the protesters always take good care of him,” the witness said, adding: “but this time, the junta’s forces were using civilian cars.”
Myanmar has been swept by protests since a military coup in early February during which the civilian government of de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi was toppled.
There have been reports of brutal torture of people detained during the demonstrations, with several said not to have survived prison.
According to the non-profit organisation AAPP, more than 3,000 protesters are currently in jail and at least 715 people have been killed during the crackdown, including around 50 children.