Hong Kong police fired water cannon, rubber bullets and round after round of tear gas at petrol-bomb and brick-throwing protesters on Sunday in some of the most widespread violence in more than three months of anti-government unrest, Reuters writes.
Running battles in the Causeway Bay shopping district, Wan Chai bar area and the Admiralty district of central government offices followed a night of showdowns with police in the Chinese-ruled city after a peaceful pro-democracy rally turned ugly on the streets outside.
More protests are planned in the run-up to China’s Oct. 1 National Day, marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic.
Police also fired tear gas from the roof of the Legislative Council building, which activists trashed and daubed with graffiti weeks ago.
Protesters, many of them wearing their trademark black with face masks, took cover from the tear gas behind umbrellas and held their ground on Sunday, some throwing tear gas canisters back at police as a helicopter flew overhead.
They built barricades with trolleys and trash cans and other debris. One threw a petrol bomb at police in the Wan Chai metro station.
At least one petrol bomb landed in the grounds of central government offices where several windows were smashed.
Police, who traditionally raise placards warning of retaliation before firing tear gas or firing water cannon, made several arrests, grappling people to the tarmac. There were no immediate reports of serious injuries.
The water cannon fired blue dye, which elsewhere in the world is used to make identification of offenders easier.
The government said that the city’s leader, Carrie Lam, will be out of town for China’s National Day, despite her having sent out invitations for celebrations at home.