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Almost 150 arrested during Monday clashes: police

2019-08-06 HKT 17:26
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  • Almost 150 arrested during Monday clashes: police
Police on Tuesday said 148 people were arrested during running battles with protesters the day before, the largest daily toll since huge pro-democracy protests kicked off two months ago.

"During the operation, the police arrested 148 people consisting of 95 males and 53 females, aged between 13 and 63 years old," superintendent John Tse said during a daily press conference.

Tse added that some 800 tear gas rounds were fired on Monday, almost as many as the 1,000 rounds they said they had fired throughout the whole of the last two months. Riot police also discharged 140 rubber bullets and 20 sponge rounds.

Tse said reasonable force was needed to restore law and order across the territory and he dismissed claims that officers had taken out their anger on protesters by using excessive violence to subdue them.

“Our officers will not put their tempers on the rioters. In fact, we take care of their behaviour and we have psychologists to talk with them when they’re not working to make sure they’re calm enough when executing their duties”, Tse said.

He also lashed out at protesters who vandalised more than a hundred traffic lights across Hong Kong, saying they had severely undermined road safety.

An executive committee member of the Hong Kong Journalists Association, Lam Yin-pong, read out a statement before the start of the press conference, accusing the police of abusing their powers and mistreating reporters during their clearance operations.

Journalists at the press conference also protested noisily, by hitting their pens against their tables and helmets.