Safety tight at HK college as tons of of protesters trapped on campus

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HONG KONG (Information) – Hong Kong police fired tear gasoline at protesters as they tried to flee a besieged college on Monday whereas tons of extra pro-democracy activists stayed inside armed with petrol bombs and different weapons awaiting an anticipated operation to oust them.

The bloody standoff between safety forces and activists at Polytechnic College entered its second day after an evening of mayhem through which a police van was set alight and a police officer was shot with an arrow.

Thirty eight individuals have been injured in a single day Sunday, the town’s Hospital Authority stated. Information witnesses noticed some protesters endure burns from chemical substances within the jets fired from police water cannons.

“Bear in mind you may have life in your arms. Why do it’s essential to push us to loss of life?” one individual shouted at police from a campus rooftop as protesters sporting gasoline masks and clutching umbrellas appeared for tactics to flee the college.

Police arrested dozens of protesters close to the college on Monday morning, public broadcaster RTHK reported.

Police warned they have been prepared to make use of stay bullets if “rioters” continued to used deadly weapons, amid a dramatic escalation of the unrest that has plunged the Asian monetary hub into chaos for nearly six months.

Demonstrators offended at what they see as Chinese language meddling within the former British colony have stated they’re responding to extreme use of power by police.

“The protesters have been reacting to the police,” stated Joris, 23, a civil engineer who like others didn’t give his full identify. “We haven’t fought again as a lot as we may. I’d be ready for jail. We’re preventing for Hong Kong.”

Elsewhere within the semi-autonomous territory on Monday riot police arrived within the business Nathan Highway space the place black-clad protesters had roamed the streets earlier than daybreak, many carrying petrol bombs.

Police began to clear away particles together with umbrellas, bricks and furnishings gadgets down one of many metropolis’s busiest vacationer and business districts, to make means for visitors.

Just some hours earlier three younger ladies had pushed a trolley of petrol bombs down the highway whereas others dug up paving slabs and used bricks to dam roads, some chanting: “Liberate HK, revolution of our time.”

The town’s Cross Harbour Tunnel linking Hong Kong island to the Kowloon peninsula remained shuttered and protesters torched a footbridge that crosses the freeway to the tunnel, authorities stated.

Some prepare providers and plenty of roads throughout the Kowloon peninsula remained closed. All faculties have been shut.

NIGHT OF VIOLENCE

As police approached the barricaded entrance gate of the college within the predawn hours, protesters retreated into the campus and began fires on the gate and a footbridge.

Some protesters mentioned attempting to depart, whereas others bolstered barricades and carried packing containers of petrol bombs to positions across the advanced.

A protester seems at fireplace at Hong Kong Polytechnic College (PolyU) throughout an anti-government protest in Hong Kong, China November 18, 2019. Information/Athit Perawongmetha

1000’s of residents and protesters flocked to districts across the college together with Tsim Sha Tsui, Jordan and Yau Ma Tei, to attempt to penetrate the riot-police strains to rescue the trapped college students.

“If we will solely maintain on until daybreak, extra may come,” stated one younger activist within the college.

College President Teng Jin-Guang stated in a web-based video on Monday that he had brokered a truce with police to permit protesters on campus to depart peacefully, nevertheless it was unclear whether or not a truce was taking impact.

A few of these trapped on the sprawling red-brick campus near the town’s harbor stated they’d by no means give up.

“We’ve been trapped right here, that’s why we have to struggle till the tip. If we don’t struggle, Hong Kong might be over,” stated Ah Lung, a 19-year-old protester.

Many protesters wore gasoline masks or tied handkerchiefs over their mouths and noses to guard themselves from clouds of tear gasoline. Some stripped right down to their underwear, after earlier dousings from water cannon that witnesses stated contained an irritant.

An armored police automobile that was set ablaze by petrol bombs in Sunday’s violence was towed away early on Monday.

Chinese language troopers in a base near the college have been seen on Sunday monitoring developments with binoculars, some wearing riot gear.

Chinese language troops in shorts and T-shirts, some carrying pink plastic buckets or brooms, emerged from their barracks on Saturday in a uncommon public look to assist clear up particles.

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Chinese language troops have appeared on Hong Kong’s streets solely as soon as since 1997, to assist clear up after a hurricane final 12 months.

The unrest in Hong Kong poses the gravest in style problem to Chinese language President Xi Jinping since he got here to energy in 2012. Xi has stated he’s assured Hong Kong’s authorities can resolve the disaster.

Beijing denies interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs and has blamed overseas influences for the unrest.

Reporting by Anne Marie Roantree, Twinnie Siu, Simon Gardner, Marius Zaharia, James Pomfret, Josh Smith, Jessie Pang, Joyce Zhou, Kate Lamb and Tom Lasseter; Writing by Nick Macfie and Farah Grasp; Modifying by Stephen Coates