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Bomb disposal robot, water cannon deployed

2019-10-20 HKT 18:56
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  • Bomb disposal robot, water cannon deployed
A bomb disposal robot detonated what was feared to be some sort of explosive device in Tai Kok Tsui at around 6.30pm.

The wheeled, remote-controlled robot slowly approached the suspicious object at the intersection of Lai Chi Kok Road and Tong Mi Road, metres away from the Grade I historic building, Lui Seng Chun.

It slowly navigated around bricks and other debris strewn on the ground.

The suspicious object in question appeared to be little more than a cardboard box, with several wires sticking out of it.

The robot edged right up to the box, and then detonated it with a loud bang on live television, leaving little left. It was unclear whether box actually contained any explosives.

The drama came as protesters who had set out on an unauthorised march from Tsim Sha Tsui earlier on Sunday spread out to a wide area of Kowloon, from Tai Kok Tsui to Kowloon Tong – prompting the MTR to close down most of its Tsuen Wan line as well as a bevy of other stations.

A Vice-convenor Figo Chan of the Civil Human Rights Front estimated that around 350,000 people took part in the protest.

Petrol bomb-hurling protesters had targeted the Tsim Sha Tsui police station, along with multiple MTR stations. They set up makeshift barricades were on major roads, and set a number of fires out on the streets.

Mainland-owned businesses, as well as those whose bosses have been speaking up against the protest movement, were again targeted. Vandals spray painted protest slogans outside the Xiaomi store in Mong Kok in the afternoon, before protesters lit a large fire outside the gates at night.

People also threw containers full of what appeared to be faeces at outets of the Japanese fast-food chain, Yoshinoya.

Police mobilised their water cannon truck early in the afternoon, splashing protesters and buildings along Nathan Road with blue-dyed water, leaving the floor and gates outside the Kowloon Mosque pale blue.

Some protesters and passersby quickly turned up to help clean the dye up.

A police armoured vehicle deployed alongside the water cannon truck helped to ram through makeshift barricades as police proceeded down the thoroughfare.

Later in the evening, police again confronted protesters on Nathan Road as they were retreating in the other direction – south toward Yau Ma Tei. In Mong Kok, some protesters threw petrol bombs towards the police, who responded with rounds of tear gas.

Again, officers targeted protesters with their water cannon, splashing some reporters and television cameras in the process.

An anti-riot vehicle was also deployed to try to disperse protesters outside the Sham Shui Po police station, firing jets of water and both protesters and journalists.

Last updated: 2019-10-20 HKT 21:27/i>