Hong Kong college students hunker down as authorities dismisses curfew rumors

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HONG KONG (Information) – Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters paralyzed components of the town for a fourth successive day on Thursday, forcing colleges to shut and blocking highways, as college students constructed campus barricades and the federal government dismissed rumors of a curfew.

Protesters stroll on a bridge that runs over the doorway to the Cross Harbour Tunnel, which is blocked by protesters exterior the campus of the Polytechnic College in Hong Kong, China November 14, 2019. Information/Thomas Peter

Protesters have torched autos and buildings, hurled petrol bombs at police stations and trains, dropped particles from bridges on to site visitors under and vandalized purchasing malls and campuses, elevating questions on how and when greater than 5 months of unrest could be delivered to an finish.

Chinese language President Xi Jinping, talking in Brazil, stated stopping violence was probably the most pressing activity proper now for Hong Kong, China’s state CCTV tv reported.

He stated China continued to firmly assist Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam. China has a garrison of as much as 12,000 troops in Hong Kong who’ve saved to barracks since 1997, but it surely has vowed to crush any makes an attempt at independence, a requirement from a really small minority of protesters.

The unrest was triggered by what many see because the stifling by China of freedoms assured below the “one nation, two techniques” components put in place when Hong Kong returned to Chinese language rule in 1997.

China denies interfering in Hong Kong and has blamed Western international locations, together with Britain and the US, for stirring up bother.

Anger grew over perceived police brutality because the protests intensified. Police deny being heavy handed and say they’ve proven restraint within the face of probably lethal assaults.

“HIGH-SPIRITED RIOTERS”

1000’s of scholars hunkered down at a number of universities on Thursday, surrounded by piles of meals, bricks, petrol bombs, catapults and different home made weapons.

Police stated the Chinese language College, within the New Territories, had turn out to be a “weapons manufacturing facility and an arsenal” with bows and arrows and catapults.

“Their acts are one other step nearer to terrorism,” Chief Superintendent (Public Relations) Tse Chun-chung instructed a briefing, referring to protests on campuses throughout the Chinese language-ruled metropolis.

He additionally stated police would quickly keep away from immediately clashing with “high-spirited rioters” to offer themselves a breather and keep away from accidents.

Police stated arrows have been fired at officers from Hong Kong Polytechnic College within the morning.

A number of Hong Kong universities introduced there could be no courses on campuses for the remainder of the 12 months.

Baptist College, subsequent to a Individuals’s Liberation Military base in Kowloon Tong, issued an “pressing attraction”, telling college students to avoid campus.

“Your security is so expensive to our hearts and to your mother and father’ and pals’ hearts,” it stated. “Please avoid hurt’s approach.”

China’s World Occasions tabloid, owned by the official newspaper of the ruling Communist Get together, the Individuals’s Day by day, stated on Twitter that the Hong Kong authorities was anticipated to announce a weekend curfew after a few of the worst violence in a long time within the former British colony.

It deleted the put up after a short while. The Hong Kong authorities stated the rumors have been “completely unfounded”.

PETROL BOMBS AND BRICKS

Tons of of protesters occupied roads within the metropolis’s enterprise district, residence to a few of the world’s costliest actual property, in the course of the day.

Throughout the harbor, black-clad protesters and college students maintained their blockade of main roads, together with the doorway to the Cross-Harbour Tunnel that hyperlinks Hong Kong island to the Kowloon space, and a freeway between Kowloon and the agricultural New Territories.

Police fired tear gasoline close to the tunnel early on Thursday to attempt to clear the protesters. Roads have been strewn with bricks in Stonehenge-like formations and different particles, inflicting widespread site visitors jams.

Protesters threw petrol bombs on the Kowloon-side tunnel turnstiles late within the night and the tunnel remained closed.

On the Polytechnic College, close to the identical tunnel entrance, lots of of scholars sporting gasoline masks readied for confrontation. They have been practising throwing petrol bombs and archery in a half-empty swimming pool.

Containers of petrol bombs have been positioned at vantage factors overlooking roads, together with the tunnel, which has been blocked since Wednesday night.

Violence has escalated in latest days, with police taking pictures and wounding one protester at shut vary and one man described as a “rioter” dousing a person with petrol earlier than setting him on fireplace.

The person who was shot was in secure situation. The person who was lit on fireplace suffered burns to his torso and head, and was in vital situation.

There was additionally a tense standoff between chanting protesters and police within the New Territories city of Sheung Shui.

Police stated they might appoint 100 Correctional Companies Division employees, who take care of prisons, to bolster the streets.

“I can’t see how including 100 particular police will assist a lot,” democratic lawmaker Tanya Chan instructed Information. “I don’t know why the federal government doesn’t undertake measures that may soften the stress quite than intensify battle.”

Slideshow (23 Photos)

To see a graphic escalating violence in Hong Kong, click on here

Reporting by Sarah Wu, Kate Lamb, Jessie Pang, Donny Kwok, Twinnie Siu, Anne Marie Roantree, Clare Jim and Felix Tam; Writing by Farah Grasp and Nick Macfie; Modifying by Gerry Doyle, Robert Birsel and Alex Richardson