HK rioters go ‘completely hysterical’ after turning PolyU into battlefield frontlines

By Wang Wenwen in Hong Kong and Chen Qingqing Source:Global Times Published: 2019/11/18 1:25:04 Last Updated: 2019/11/18 19:43:10

Rioters set fire at an overhead bridge connecting the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Hung Hom MTR station on Sunday. Photo: AFP

Rioters set fire at an overhead bridge connecting the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Hung Hom MTR station on Sunday. Photo: Web

Violence flared on Sunday as Polytechnic University (PolyU) of Hong Kong was turned into a warzone as clashes between rioters and police moved to the campus. 

Rioters also set a police vehicle on fire with Molotov cocktails and attacked two police officers with arrow and metal ball outside the campus. 

Observers believed that rioters have gone completely hysterical and acted like terrorists as they attack police with lethal weapons, target innocent residents and turn campuses into battlefields.

The mob called it "an endgame" with the police, and radicals have said they are prepared to fight to the end, according to messages circulating on social media. Some messages recommended that rioters make chlorine gas bombs to target the police. 

By 11 pm, dozens of rioters had been arrested on the PolyU campus, while hundreds more stayed inside buildings, as police besieged the campus after a day of confrontations. 

Around 10 pm, to ensure public safety on campus and in the surrounding vicinity, police urged rioters to leave immediately via Block Y at the Lee Shau Kee Building and await further police instruction. The police said they would begin preparing for the next round of operations.

Rioters set fire at an overhead bridge connecting the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Hung Hom MTR station on Sunday. Photo: Web

Photo: AFP

Police checked reporters' accreditations when they tried to leave, according to several reporters on the ground.

At midnight, Hong Kong Police Superintendent Louis Lau Siu-pong warned rioters during a live broadcast that if they continued to attack the police with deadly weapons including Molotov cocktails and arrows, the police would respond with all possible minimum force, which would include live rounds.

Around 10 pm, a rioter drove a car at police and crushed one from behind. One officer fired a live round at the vehicle. The police have condemned such terrorist-like activities. Skirmishes started since Saturday night, when black-clad rioters near the PolyU staged a confrontation with police. Rioters started fires, set up barricades, hurled Molotov cocktails, while local media reported that hazardous chemicals had been stolen from multiple campus laboratories of PolyU. 

PolyU reported the stolen chemicals to police as university officials believe they pose a severe threat to public safety.

Confrontations continued Sunday with clashes beginning in the morning when dozens of rioters threw bricks at about 100 people trying to clear barricades at the intersection of Austin Road and Chatham Road South near PolyU. 

Police fired several rounds of tear gas at rioters who responded with bricks and Molotov cocktails.

During clashes on Sunday afternoon close to PolyU, a police officer from the Force Media Liaison Cadre was shot with an arrow. Another officer was hit by a marble on his mask but did not sustain injuries.  

Police deployed water cannons to disperse the rioters, which proved futile as rioters used umbrellas for protection. They reorganized and hurled burning objects at police.

Police drove armored cars equipped with long-range non-violent sonic weaponry for the first time. 

In the evening, the battlefield extended to the Cross-Harbour Tunnel. 

An armored  car was ignited near Hung Hom around 9 pm after rioters bombarded it with Molotov cocktails, forcing the remaining police vehicles to retreat to the Hung Hom station.

Several nearby pedestrian bridges also caught fire, while explosions were heard elsewhere.

According to one Telegram group, dangerous chemicals were being held by rioters at PolyU and some members urged them to be careful when using the chemicals to attack police as they could cause explosions and significant casualties.

Newspaper headline: HK rioters go completely hysterical after turning PolyU into battlefield frontlines


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