Pro-democracy protesters paralyzed 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, Reuters writes.
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.
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 homemade weapons.
Police said the Chinese University, in the New Territories, had become a “weapons factory and an arsenal” with bows and arrows and catapults.
“Their acts are another step closer to terrorism,” Chief Superintendent (Public Relations) Tse Chun-chung told a briefing, referring to protests on all campuses.
He also said police would temporarily avoid directly clashing with “high-spirited rioters” to give themselves a breather and avoid injuries.
Protesters have torched vehicles and buildings, hurled petrol bombs at police stations and trains, dropped debris from bridges on to traffic below and vandalized shopping malls and campuses, raising questions about how and when more than five months of unrest can be brought to an end, Reuters adds.
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.