12 July 2024

HONG KONG — Police this morning briefly stormed a major university campus occupied by hundreds of protesters, making dozens of arrests after almost two straight days of standoffs that have raised fears of a bloody showdown.

Police from a special tactical unit entered the campus and made dozens of arrests, according to local news reporters at the site. Then a live feed showed a university entrance engulfed in flames. Demonstrators were feeding the fire to hold police off, Washington Post reported

According to Reuters, defiant protesters inside Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University earlier faced off against a police water cannon and armored vehicles in raging battles that lasted an entire day and through the night.

In the Nathan Road area away from the campus, black-clad protesters roamed streets before dawn, many carrying petrol bombs, while three young women pushed a trolley of petrol bombs down one of the city’s busiest tourist districts.

Others dug up paving slabs and used bricks to block roads, some chanting: “Liberate HK, revolution of our time.”

A police officer was shot in the calf by an arrow as anti-government protesters, many of them students, responded to police with salvos of petrol bombs and bricks hurled by homemade catapults.

Police threatened to fire live bullets if “rioters” did not stop using lethal weapons in the latest flare-up in anti-government protests that have convulsed the Chinese-ruled city for more than five months.

Scores of protesters were injured, some with scalding burns from chemicals in the jets fired from the water cannon.

The protesters at Polytechnic University had blocked one of Hong Kong’s major highways, the Cross Harbour Tunnel linking Hong Kong island to the Kowloon peninsula for much of the past week, with authorities desperate to restore the link yet encountering tenacious resistance from the trapped activists.