Pepper-balls, tear gas shot at Prince Edward protest - RTHK
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Pepper-balls, tear gas shot at Prince Edward protest

2019-11-30 HKT 21:02
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  • Pepper-balls, tear gas shot at Prince Edward protest
  • A woman (centre) is helped after being hit by a pepper-ball launched by riot police. Photo: AFP
    A woman (centre) is helped after being hit by a pepper-ball launched by riot police. Photo: AFP
  • Riot officers remove debris strewn in the road by protesters. Photo: AFP
    Riot officers remove debris strewn in the road by protesters. Photo: AFP
  • Police said protesters had 'seriously paralysed' traffic in the area. Photo: RTHK
    Police said protesters had 'seriously paralysed' traffic in the area. Photo: RTHK
  • Protesters set up barricades near Mong Kok Police Station. Photo: RTHK
    Protesters set up barricades near Mong Kok Police Station. Photo: RTHK
Riot police fired pepper-balls and later tear gas as they moved in to clear makeshift barricades set up by protesters in the middle of roads in Prince Edward on Saturday night, with one woman apparently hit in the face by one of the projectiles.

A crowd had earlier massed outside the MTR station to mark three months since police officers raced inside making scores of arrests amid violent scenes that shocked the city.

The demonstrators shouted slogans calling for the force to be disbanded and shone lasers at the nearby Mong Kok Police Station.

Officials closed exit C of the MTR station.

Riot police carrying shields and guns were soon out on the streets and raised a flag warning people they were taking part in an illegal assembly.

At one point a young woman was injured by what was believed to have been a pepper-ball and was given first aid at the scene. The projectile had struck her in the face, but it wasn't clear how badly hurt she was.

The masked protesters dispersed and officers removed the barricades set up at the intersection of Prince Edward Road West and Nathan Road.

But dozens of people were standing on the pavement hurling verbal abuse at officers, accusing them of being rapists and murderers.

"Police may use force to disperse people who are breaking the law. Leave for your own safety," an officer warned them.

The group built more barricades in Prince Edward Road West and Nathan Road after 11pm, before a large group of riot police, followed by several vehicles, again moved in to disperse them.

Bags of trash were thrown into the street and small fires were started, though most were rapidly put out. More shots were fired and one man was left bruised after being shot in the back with what appeared to be a rubber bullet.

At least one Molotov cocktail was thrown at a police car. That prompted police to display a tear gas warning flag and, shortly before midnight, officers fired tear gas for the first time in more than a week.

Police also repeatedly asked crowds of journalists to move back onto the pavement, with the bystanders shouting back that only officers were blocking the road.

Officers fired pepper spray to clear people from a pavement at one stage, and chased a young man who had shone a laser pointer at a police car.

A resident of nearby Jordan told RTHK that the police response to the protest seemed excessive.

"They definitely could be on the streets, but they don't need to be wearing all their gear. They don't need to be carrying guns. They don't need to be threatening the use of force. They just need to show their presence and I think that's enough to stop things from getting out of control," he said.

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Last updated: 2019-12-01 HKT 00:37