HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong police opened fire and hit at least one protester on Monday, media reported, as chaos erupted across the city a day after officers fired tear gas to break up demonstrations that are entering their sixth month.
A protester spray paints graffiti at Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong, China November 11, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Police fired live rounds at protesters on the eastern side of Hong Kong island, Cable TV and other Hong Kong media reported. Cable TV said one protester was wounded when police opened fire.
Video footage showed a protester lying in a pool of blood with his eyes wide open. Police also pepper-sprayed and subdued a woman nearby as plastic crates were thrown at officers, the video shared on social media showed.
Reuters could not immediately authenticate the footage.
Police said in a statement radical protesters had set up barricades at multiple locations across the city and warned the demonstrators to “stop their illegal acts immediately”.
They did not comment immediately on the apparent shooting.
Services on some train and subway lines were disrupted early on Monday, with riot police deployed near stations and shopping malls. Many universities cancelled classes on Monday and there were long traffic jams in some areas.
Activists blocked roads and trashed shopping malls across Hong Kong’s New Territories and Kowloon peninsula on Sunday during a 24th straight weekend of anti-government unrest.
The latest violence comes after a student died in hospital last week following a high fall as protesters were being dispersed by police.
Protesters are angry about what they see as police brutality and meddling by Beijing in the former British colony’s freedoms, guaranteed by the “one country, two systems” formula put in place when the territory returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
Reporting by Donny Kwowk and Anne Marie Roantree; Additional reporting by Josh Smith and Kate Lam; Writing by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Paul Tait