Molotov-cocktail-wielding protesters have transformed a Hong Kong university into a weapons factory, according to police. Several local universities have canceled classes as they brace for more unrest on their campuses.
Armed with petrol bombs, javelins and other weapons, demonstrators seized control of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) on Tuesday night, forcing riot police to retreat. Similar clashes took place on several other university campuses in the city. Photographs and videos show large fires started by the protesters, who threw petrol bombs and constructed impromptu barricades to keep police at bay.
The chaos prompted Chief Superintendent John Tse Chun-chung to accuse the demonstrators of mass-producing Molotov cocktails on CUHK’s grounds.
A university is supposed to be a breeding ground for future leaders, but it became a battlefield for criminals and rioters. What’s worse, we have strong suspicions that the school was used as a weapons factory as several hundred petrol bombs were thrown on campus in a single day.
He stressed that there was no excuse for such criminal activity, and that police have every right to apprehend those who break the law. The police had been criticized for trying to enter CUHK, but Chun-chung insisted that authorities were simply trying to detain those who had thrown bricks and Molotov cocktails at riot cops at the scene.
The chaos has prompted educational institutions across Hong Kong to shutter their doors. The Chinese University has ended all on-campus classes until the beginning of the new term in January. Citing safety concerns, at least three other universities have announced class cancelations, ranging from several days to two weeks in duration.
Anti-China demonstrations in the semi-autonomous territory have become increasingly violent. On Monday, a masked mob was filmed dousing a man in flammable liquid and lighting him on fire.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has condemned the protesters as “the people’s enemy” who are “relentlessly destroying society.” She said that her government was working to restore order in the besieged city.
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