At least three students were taken to a hospital after a Philippine police vehicle ran over a group of protesters outside the U.S. Embassy in Manila. The students were speaking out against the presence of American troops based on the island nation.
The video below shows a police van repeatedly backing up and driving forward in an attempt to crash through the crowd of protesters who had surrounded the vehicle. Reuters videographer Romeo Reyes captured the moment in the video below and told the Associated Press that three of the students had to be transported to an area hospital after being run over, according to the Russian Today account of the protest.
“In front of horrified crowds, including videojournalists and photographers, the van suddenly charged backward then sprinted forward twice over a space of about 20 meters (60 feet), barreling through the scattered protesters and hurtling some to the side like bowling pins,” the Associated Press reported. “A few got ran over but somehow managed to stand.”
Police arrested 23 who had broken through a security line.
Reports on social media showed the large number of protesters gathered outside the U.S. Embassy. One Twitter user tweeted that the students were attempting to seize the compound.
US Embassy in Manila now under attack by militant groups! Sick people, parang middle east ang scenario kulang lang sila ng mg armas. pic.twitter.com/Ld6eFidHks
— Ephmari Valenzuela (@EphmariV) October 19, 2016
Another tweet claimed the protest was led by “national minorities” and perhaps did not follow the sentiment of the majority of the Philippine people.
— Pamalakaya Pilipinas (@pama_pil) October 19, 2016
“The protesters were calling for American troops to leave the southern island of Mindanao, where they have been helping Philippine troops to fight Islamist militants,” NPR’s Anthony Kuhn reported. “President Rodrigo Duterte has said that he, too, wants the U.S. troops out.”
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with additional information.