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Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019

Petrol bombs, flaming arrows mark fiery escalation in Hong Kong stir

China’s Global Times tabloid, owned by the state-run People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party, said on Twitter that the Hong Kong government was expected to announce a weekend curfew after some of the worst violence in decades in the Chinese-ruled city.

world Updated: Nov 15, 2019 05:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hong Kong
A protester runs after throwing Molotov cocktails at the toll booth for the Cross Harbor Tunnel near the the Hong Kong Polytechnic University campus in Hong Kong on Thursday.
A protester runs after throwing Molotov cocktails at the toll booth for the Cross Harbor Tunnel near the the Hong Kong Polytechnic University campus in Hong Kong on Thursday.(Photo: AP)
         

Pro-democracy protesters paralysed parts of Hong Kong for a fourth day on Thursday, forcing schools to close and blocking highways as students built barricades and stockpiled makeshift weapons, setting the stage for campus showdowns.

China’s Global Times tabloid, owned by the state-run People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party, said on Twitter that the Hong Kong government was expected to announce a weekend curfew after some of the worst violence in decades in the Chinese-ruled city.

It deleted the post after a short time. Its editor said there was “not sufficient” information to back it up.

Thousands of students hunkered down on several campuses, surrounded by piles of food, bricks, petrol bombs, arrows with heads wrapped in cladding, catapults and other home-made weapons. Police said the Chinese University, in the New Territories, had become a “weapons factory and an arsenal” with bows and arrows and catapults.

Protesters have torched vehicles and buildings, hurled petrol bombs at police stations and trains, dropped debris from bridges on to traffic below and vandalised shopping malls and campuses, raising questions about how and when more than five months of unrest can be brought to an end.

Police said arrows were fired at officers from Hong Kong Polytechnic University in the morning. Several universities announced there would be no classes on campuses for the rest of the year.

Baptist University, next to a People’s Liberation Army base in Kowloon Tong, issued an “urgent appeal”, telling students to stay away from campus.

Xi says Hong Kong must end violence

Chinese President Xi Jinping said ending violence by what he calls “violent criminals” and restoring order is Hong Kong’s most pressing task.

The Xinhua news agency said the Chinese leader made the comments on Thursday while attending the BRICS summit in Brazil.

Xi was quoted as saying the Chinese government will continue to support Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, the police and the courts. Hong Kong is a semi-autonomous Chinese territory that is in its sixth month of anti-government protests.

(With inputs from agencies)