A group of men wearing white shirts and brandishing sticks and bamboo poles clashed with black-clad anti-government demonstrators and residents in Tsuen Wan in the early hours of Monday morning, leaving several injured and at least one man bleeding from an apparent head wound.
The trouble reportedly happened after a group of five or six men in white shirts were spotted attacking two men and one woman outside the Tsuen Wan MTR station at around midnight.
A witness told RTHK he and several other residents rushed to help after they heard a woman screaming. He arrived to find three people suffering injuries to their arms and legs. A woman was down on the ground, sobbing.
People started getting word that the assailants had fled to a location at Yi Pei Square – a narrow alley lined with shops close to the usually busy Yeung Uk Road market. Protesters attempted to confront the men there.
A group of men in white shirts then emerged at one end of the street, yelling at the protesters and residents, before starting to throw glass bottles at them.
The protesters and residents initially retreated, only to rush back into the alley, throwing objects at the group and flashing laser pointers and bright strobing lights at them as more and more people came to their aid.
One black-clad protester was seen pushing a huge rubbish bin full of empty glass bottles to the area. A man in a yellow shirt was seen walking away, clutching his bleeding head.
Paramedics and firefighters arrived on the scene first, followed by the police. By the time officers in riot gear was there to try to restore order, the ground was left littered with shards of glass, sharpened bamboo sticks, golf clubs, and at least one knife.
Police then patrolled the streets, conducting identity checks on passersby.
The violence come weeks after gangs of men in similar white shirts terrorised protesters and train passengers at the Yuen Long MTR station last month, beating people indiscriminately with sticks and rods, injuring 45 people. It's alleged the white-shirted mob are members of triad gangs.