Fires, tear gas in Mong Kok as MTR station shuts - RTHK
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Fires, tear gas in Mong Kok as MTR station shuts

2019-10-27 HKT 19:36
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  • Fires, tear gas in Mong Kok as MTR station shuts
Anti-government protesters threw petrol bombs, set fires and clashed with riot police in Mong Kok and elsewhere in Kowloon on Sunday evening after demonstrators left an earlier unauthorised rally in Tsim Sha Tsui.

In Mong Kok, at least one officer left the scene bleeding from the head, two men were beaten by protesters, and officers fired multiple volleys of tear gas and non-lethal rounds at black-clad protesters, with three journalists reportedly getting hit in the leg.

In one instance, volunteer first-aid workers carried a Stand News reporter away to safety before attending to his injured leg. They said he appears to have been hit by a beanbag round.

The incident happened after a group of officers retreated into an MTR station, closing the shutters behind them.

From inside the station, officers fired multiple rounds of tear gas at protesters who gathered at the entrance outside and threw water bottles and other objects down at them.

Later, a masked man threw a petrol bomb into the station.

Nearby, some masked demonstrators broke into a Best Mart 360 store, easily dismantling wooden boards that had been put up in an apparent effort to protect it.

Inside, they smashed up the goods and set a small fire inside that set off the automatic sprinkler system.

A fire was also set outside the gates of one of the closed MTR entrances, which was later put out by firefighters.

Protesters had little trouble peeling back corrugated metal sheets that railway had put up in an effort to protect the glass windows of the stations. Amid the chaos, the railway announced it was suspending services to Mong Kok station, shortly before closing down Yau Ma Tei station as well.

Demonstrators had also set a number of makeshift barricades on the streets – which were later dismantled by riot police.

At around 8pm, a large group of officers advanced to Mong Kok Road, where they subdued and arrested many protesters, while shouting at journalists to stay back.

Police said protesters also set fire to a shop in Jordan. Their anti-riot water cannon vehicle was seen spraying water in the area, as large clouds of smoke engulfed the streets.

In Yau Ma Tei, a black-shirted man was left bloodied and dazed on the ground after apparently being beaten up by a crowd of protesters. He appeared to have been knocked out at one point after being kicked in the head.

A similar scenario happened again later in the evening before 9pm nearby in Mong Kok. An elderly man was left bleeding from the head with his shirt half ripped off after he was attacked by a mob. Reports from the scene suggest the attack may have been prompted by the man taking close-up pictures of protesters.

The water cannon-equipped police anti-riot vehicle then arrived on the scene, drawing jeers and rude gestures from protesters.

Police then again tried to reclaim the streets from the protesters, pushing forward and firing off bursts of tear gas. On Argyle Street, a middle aged man wearing a face mask nonchalantly used what appeared to be a hand-held leaf-blower to disperse some of the noxious gas.

At around 9pm, tear gas was apparently shot directly into a pharmacy, which was still open for business even though other shops adjacent to it had all closed for the night.

A man who was in the store was helped out by a group of volunteer first aiders, before an ambulance arrived.

A spent canister could be seen right on the shelves.

And in Sham Shui Po, there were reports of petrol bombs being thrown at the entrance of the police station there. Officers used their non-lethal weapons against protesters at close range, scattering them.

Last updated: 2019-10-27 HKT 22:45