HK police: At least 100 petrol bombs hurled by protesters, 159 arrested over weekend
Updated 22:26, 02-Sep-2019

Hong Kong police said on Monday radical protester hurled at least 100 petrol bombs on Saturday, and damaged nearly a third of more than 90 Mass Transit Railway (MTR) stations as they wreaked havoc across the city over the weekend, bringing key transport network to a standstill. 

According to the police, 159 people aged between 13 and 58 were arrested during the weekend protest on suspicion of illegal assembly, possessing offensive weapons and assaulting police officers.


'A catastrophe'

Speaking at a regular press conference, Mak Chin-ho, assistant commissioner of police called the weekend violence "a catastrophe," warning "consequences could be a lot more serious than imagined" if these protesters continued to act out of control regardless of public interest. 

"Rioters have demonstrated escalating violence and resort to weapons more and more offensive, and in certain cases, deadly. It worries us to see such offensive weapons fallen into the hands of underage people as young as 13 years old, " Mak said. 

"They hurled bricks, metal poles and fired slingshots at police. They hurled many petrol bombs and some of our officers were burned as a result," he added. "Such despicable acts with no bottom line only served to injure other people and showed a complete disregard of other people's lives."

"All these are pushing Hong Kong to the brink of great danger. We appeal to all members of the public to cut a line with such violent and criminal elements," he urged. 

"It is the time to restore public order for Hong Kong."

Passengers walk to a terminal as protesters block the roads leading to Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong, China, September 1, 2019. /Reuters Photo

Passengers walk to a terminal as protesters block the roads leading to Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong, China, September 1, 2019. /Reuters Photo

Police attacked, private information leaked, violence escalated 

Hong Kong saw a dark weekend tainted by an increasing intensity of violence as protesters set ablaze public property, vandalized government buildings and paralyzed traffic to the airport.  

On Saturday, over the Hong Kong Island, protesters used dismantled railings to destroy shops and facilities, and set fire to barricades on roads, posing a great threat to public safety. Some even threw petrol bombs from atop footbridges onto the police officers underneath.

On Sunday, their radical act showed no sign of abating. A large group of protesters gathered in the airport terminals, setting ablaze barricades and even the national flag. Some people threw objects such as stones onto the track near the Airport Station, causing temporary suspension of the Airport Express service. 

Read more: Protesters target Hong Kong airport, express service suspended

Police warned that since the injunction order is enforced at the airport, all radical protesters could be liable for the offense of contempt of court. 

Such rampant acts spread to other key transport infrastructure, mainly MTR stations, as protesters smashed CCTVs, destroyed machines, and shattered glass planes of custom service centers. 

"Some even took justice in their own hands and assaulted innocent passengers, posing a grave danger to the ordinary citizens and our officers on site," Mak said. 

Police further emphasized there was no death resulting from MTR violent clashes as confirmed by the hospital authority, urging the public to stop circulating malicious rumors and fake news online as it would only instigate hatred. 


Hong Kong society condemns escalating violence, supports police law enforcement 

The city's police force have been facing the brunt of the political turmoil engulfing the city for the past three months. 

The government says about 200 policemen have been injured, and personal information of 1,662 officers and their family members has been leaked. 

One police officer got part of his finger bitten off and an off-duty officer suffered injuries to his limbs and back during a knife attack by three men. 

Some in Hong Kong have expressed their support for the officers. 

Chairperson of Rescue Hong Kong Alliance, Au Yeung Hoi-shuen, said, "I think the stabbing of a police officer at the doorway of a police station shows no respect for the law. These rioters are incurable scum. They have messed up Hong Kong, put Hong Kong in chaos, and also have ruined their own future."

"Police are the people who safeguard the rule of law in Hong Kong and protect Hong Kong residents' personal safety," Po Chun-chung, chairman of Defend Hong Kong campaign, said, "Although I'm not the officer who was attacked, I feel his suffering." 

"We all support and praise the police for arresting these rioters. We hope police can continue to strictly enforce the law and crack down on these criminals," Chan Han-pan, a member of Hong Kong Legislative Council, said.