A police officer bleeds from his neck after a protester slashed him with a sharp weapon at Kwun Tong in Hong Kong, Oct 13, 2019. (PHOTO / CHINA DAILY)
HONG KONG – A policeman was slashed in the neck by an anti-government radical as riotous mobs trashed shops and metro stations and erected road blocks around the city Sunday.
The demonstration in the 19th straight week was marked by flash protests across the Asian business hub with violent protesters targeting businesses with mainland ties at different shopping centers.
IN PICTURES: Violence erupts as radicals run amok across HK
The black-clad vandals clashed with riot police in chaotic scenes around the city, turning Mong Kok, Tai Po, Sha Tin, Tseung Kwan O, Kowloon Bay and Tsuen Wan into battlefields. The city's sole rail operator, the MTR Corporation, continued to remain the target of the protesters' violent campaign.
7:05 pm: Police warn dispersal actions
A large group of rioters have blocked roads across Hong Kong, police said in a statement.
They vandalized public facilities such as traffic lights, MTR stations, government buildings, offices of District Councilors, automatic teller machines and shops in malls in various districts.
Rioters hurled hard objects such as bricks at police officers, some even assaulted a police officer by kicking his head.
Police will conduct dispersal and arrest operations, the statement warns.
6:06 pm: Smoke inside the Sha Tin mall
Smoke was seen billowing as protesters set fires to objects inside a Sha Tin mall.
Police said rioters threw petrol bombs from height targeting a police vehicle, which put the vehicle on fire.
Officers detain a protester after an officer was slashed in the neck.
5:30 pm: Officer slashed in the neck
A police officers was slashed in the neck by a protester at a mall in Kwun Tong when he went there to handle a criminal damage case. Profusely bleeding from his neck, he was sent to United Christian Hospital.
Police have immediately arrested two people at the scene, says a police statement.
“Mob actions seriously threaten the physical safety of police officers, using sharp weapon attacks can be fatal, and the police will definitely take full action.”
5:21 pm: Tear gas fired at Sha Tin, Tsuen Wan
Protestors have been gathering at multiple locations across Hong Kong. Their violent acts escalated soon after, groups of masked rioters blocked major roads, vandalized shops, public facilities and MTR stations. Acts of violence and criminal damage were observed in both Sha Tin and Tsuen Wan, said police.
Police officers have used minimum necessary force to disperse protestors, including the deployment of tear gas, it added.
3:51 pm: Service of Light Rail routes suspended
The service of all the light rail routes was suspended and various stations of several heavy rail lines were closed due to an escalation of the situation at different stations, the MTR Corp announces.
3:15 pm: Tension at Sha Tin station
The situation at Sha Tin subway station has become tensed with a large number of protesters starting vandalism.
3:05 pm: Objects thrown into Sha Tin station rail track
Protesters who gathered at Sha Tin MTR station hurled some objects into the rail track. Police warned that such acts are dangerous as the station was in operation during the time.
Radical protestors also blocked Nathan Road near Argyle Street in Mong Kong with barricades, paralyzing the traffic in the vicinity, said police.
3 pm: Airport Express route
As requested by the Hong Kong government and Airport Authority, Airport Express trains are now running between Airport and Hong Kong stations only, at about 10-minute intervals, according to MTR Corp, the rail operator.
Trains won’t stop at Kowloon, Tsing Yi and AsiaWorld-Expo stations.
In-town Check-in service is now suspended at Kowloon Station. In-town Check-in service at Hong Kong Station will remain normal and please allow 90 minutes ahead of the scheduled flight time for the check in service, MTR added.
2 pm: Protesters gather at malls
Various groups of masked protestors gathered at malls at different districts including Tai Po, Tsing Yi, Sha Tin, Kwun Tong, Kowloon Bay, Tsuen Wan, Tuen Mun and Tai Koo.
Some of them have sprayed paint, causing damages to the facilities therein, said police.
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