Rage, violence return along with tear gas, petrol bombs

Top News | Angel Kwan 2 Dec 2019

A masked man slammed a metal drain grate on the head of a man clearing protest blocks on Nathan Road as violence resumed after a week of peace on the streets.

The 53-year-old victim, police initially said, was hit with "a hard object" at about 1am in Mong Kok on Saturday.

The Information Services Department said yesterday the man was discharged from hospital.

The victim lost his mobile phone, added police, who classified the case as wounding and theft. No arrest has been made.

An online video shows the victim taking pictures or filming the surroundings after clearing objects on the road.

Another man then comes and hits him on the head with a dark object.

The injured man falls to the ground bleeding, but remains conscious while being given treatment by a voluntary first-aider.

New Police Commissioner Chris Tang Ping-keung said the victim was attacked with a drain cover. Tang added he was upset since such attacks could be fatal.

The smell of tear gas and petrol bombs were in the air again on Saturday, when at least three people were injured.

About 100 protesters gathered outside the MTR Prince Edward station to mark three months after the August 31 incident.

They were recalling the night when police with batons stormed the station's platform and trains, made arrests and caused injuries.

At around 7.30pm, about a hundred protesters gathered and burned funeral papers and placed floral tributes outside a station exit.

Some black-clad protesters vandalized exit C1 of the station and locked its gates and those of exit C2 with cable ties.

At about 8.30pm, some of them started blocking Prince Edward Road West and Nathan Road with items like plastic barriers.

Riot police arrived and fired pepper balls. A woman was injured near her left eye.

The two roads were reopened for a while, then blocked again by protesters after police left. At about 11.30pm, police dispersed the crowd again and an exit of Mong Kok station was set on fire. Petrol bombs were thrown at a police vehicle and at least two tear gas canisters were fired.

Tang said police did not use any force at the beginning, but hit back with tear gas "in the face of deadly force" when protesters threw petrol bombs at their vehicle. He said the use of weapons like tear gas and pepper balls was to keep the protesters within a safe distance.

On the application by the Civil Human Rights Front to organize a march next Sunday, Tang said police will make a decision based on the situation this week.

angel.kwan@singtaonewscorp.com

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