Police in riot gear enter Victoria Park as they disperse an anti-government protesters in Hong Kong, China November 2, 2019. (Reuters)
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HONG KONG – Scores of people were injured in Hong Kong during a chaotic weekend of anti-government protests that left one man in a critical condition, authorities said on Monday, and China called for a tougher stance to end months of unrest.
Twelve police officers were also injured during the weekend clashes, with more than 300 people ranging from 14 to 54 years of age arrested between Friday and Sunday, police said.
Chinese state media called on Monday for a tougher line against the protesters, who vandalised the local offices of state-run Xinhua news agency and other buildings, saying the violence damaged the city’s rule of law.
More demonstrations are planned this week to keep up pressure for demands that include an independent inquiry into police behaviour and universal suffrage.
“We really see that people are very heavy-hearted. They don’t know what is going to happen tonight or maybe the next weekend. And there is a lot of worry,” pro-democracy lawmaker Charles Mok told Reuters.
More than 100 demonstrators, some wearing now-banned face masks, returned on Monday evening to a shopping centre where a man had knifed several people on Sunday and bitten off a part of a politician’s ear before being beaten by protesters.
Those who gathered on Monday shouted at security guards and riot police who also briefly entered the complex in the eastern suburb of Taikoo Shing.
Police said they arrested three men involved in Sunday’s incident, including the suspected 48-year old assailant.
Riot police had stormed several shopping malls to disperse protests near families shopping on Sunday, after the worst violence in weeks on Saturday, when police fired tear gas, rubber bullets and a water cannon at crowds of black-clad demonstrators across the Chinese-ruled financial hub.
The city’s Hospital Authority told Reuters one person was in a critical condition, with two others serious, among a total of 30 injuries from Sunday alone. (Reuters)