Hong Kong campus protesters hearth arrows as unrest spreads throughout Kowloon

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HONG KONG (Information) – Hong Kong protesters shot bows and arrows and hurled petrol bombs from a barricaded college on Sunday and police fired volleys of tear gasoline and blue liquid from water cannon as unrest unfold throughout the Kowloon peninsula.

Anti-government protesters put on gasoline masks throughout clashes with police, exterior Hong Kong Polytechnic College (PolyU) in Hong Kong, China, November 17, 2019. Information/Tyrone Siu

A number of protesters fired arrows from rooftops on the Hong Kong Polytechnic College amid among the most dramatic scenes in over 5 months of anti-government demonstrations within the Chinese language-ruled metropolis.

Police mentioned a media liaison officer was hit within the leg by an arrow. He was taken to hospital for remedy. A metallic ball bit one other officer within the visor, however he was not wounded.

Protesters sprayed with the blue liquid stripped all the way down to their underwear and hosed each other down to clean it off, not understanding what it contained.

Police additionally fired tear gasoline to attempt to break up protesters on the artery of Nathan Street within the central Kowloon district of Mong Kok, which is strewn with unfastened bricks, and to the south in Yau Ma Tei, the place successive volleys of tear gasoline cleared the streets. There have been additionally clashes in East Kowloon.

Large fires had lit up the sky on the college within the coronary heart of Kowloon district in a single day as protesters hurled petrol bombs, some by catapult, and police fired volleys of tear gasoline to attract them on to the open podium of the red-brick campus.

Later, protesters on campus referred to as for “hearth magicians” to make Molotov cocktails, and other people got here operating to assist.

“Rioters proceed to launch arduous objects and petrol bombs with massive catapults at cops,” police mentioned in a press release. “The capturing vary of such massive catapults can attain as much as 40 meters … Police warn that the violent actions within the Hong Kong Polytechnic College have escalated to rioting.”

Within the college courtyard, civil engineer Joris, 23, mentioned these capturing arrows had been defending themselves.

“The police violence has been excessive,” he advised Information. “The protesters have been reacting to the police. We haven’t fought again as a lot as we might. I’d be ready for jail. We’re combating for Hong Kong.”

The clashes unfold into Sunday night, with protesters greeting every water cannon cost with petrol bombs.

The campus is the final of 5 universities to stay occupied, with activists utilizing it as a base to dam the Cross-Harbour tunnel.

Police had been making an attempt to clear the bridge above the tunnel, the place protesters took cowl behind umbrellas and set hearth to clutter, in flip setting off a collection of small explosions, forcing many to flee. The fireplace brigade moved in after about half an hour to douse the flames.

A police truck was compelled to retreat in reverse after being hit by a petroleum bomb.

Information correspondents heard a high-pitched wailing coming from a minimum of one police automobile, suggesting a brand new tactic to attempt to clear the crowds. Police confirmed use of a “Lengthy Vary Acoustic Gadget”.

Chinese language troopers in a base near the college had been seen monitoring developments with binoculars, some wearing riot gear with canisters on their chests.

CRATES OF BOMBS

Chinese language troopers wearing shorts and T-shirts, some carrying crimson plastic buckets or brooms, emerged from their barracks on Saturday in a uncommon public look to assist residents clear particles blocking key roads.

Components of the Hong Kong Polytechnic College campus appeared extra like a fortress with barricades and black-clad protesters manning the ramparts with improvised weapons-like bricks, crates of fireside bombs, and bows and arrows on the prepared.

“We aren’t afraid,” mentioned a year-three pupil Ah Lengthy, who selected to not disclose his full identify. “If we don’t persist, we are going to fail. So why not (go) all in,” he mentioned.

The presence of China’s Individuals’s Liberation Military (PLA) troopers on the streets, even to assist clear up, might stoke additional controversy over Hong Kong’s autonomous standing at a time many worry Beijing is tightening its grip on the town.

The protesters are indignant at perceived Communist Social gathering meddling within the former British colony, which was assured its freedoms when it returned to Chinese language rule in 1997.

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Beijing denies interfering and has blamed the unrest on overseas influences.

Clashes have turn out to be more and more violent, posing the gravest common problem to Chinese language President Xi Jinping since he got here to energy in 2012.

Xi has mentioned he’s assured the Hong Kong authorities can resolve the disaster. Chinese language troops have appeared on Hong Kong’s streets solely as soon as since 1997, to assist clear up after a storm final yr.

Extra reporting by James Pomfret, Jessie Pang, Joyce Zhou, Kate Lamb and Tom Lasseter; Writing by Greg Torode and Nick Macfie; Enhancing by Philippa Fletcher