Arrow fired by Hong Kong protester hits police officer: Authorities

Arrow fired by Hong Kong protester hits police officer: Authorities

Hong Kong police officer shot by arrow
Hong Kong police tweeted images of the injury to the police officer after an arrow pierced through his leg. (Photo: hkpoliceforce)

HONG KONG: A police officer was struck in the leg by an arrow shot by a Hong Kong protester on Sunday (Nov 17), the city's force said.

Graphic images showed the arrow embedded in the calf of the police officer, who was working at the scene of fierce clashes at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University on the force's media liaison team.

In a post on Twitter, Hong Kong's police force said: "At around 2pm, one member of the Force Media Liaison Cadre was hit in the calf by an arrow."

The officer was taken to hospital in "a conscious state".

READ: Fresh university clashes in Hong Kong as protesters hurl petrol bombs

An anti-government protester uses a bow during clashes with police outside Hong Kong Polytechnic Un
An anti-government protester uses a bow during clashes with police outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), in Hong Kong, China, Nov 17, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha)

The statement also added: "Rioters continue to occupy roads outside the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong and charge at Police officers using lethal weapons including bricks, petrol bombs, bows and arrows."

Clashes between protesters and police have become increasingly violent in the city, which is grappling with its biggest political crisis in decades.

The demonstrations pose the gravest popular challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.

Activists have vowed to "squeeze the economy" as the increasingly divided city reels from one of the worst weeks of violence in the months-long crisis.

Protesters clash with police outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong
A protester throws a Molotov cocktail during clashes with police outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong, China, Nov 17, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Adnan Abidi)

Protests have swept the global financial hub since June as many in the city of 7.5 million people have vented fury at eroding freedoms under Chinese rule.

A marked change in tactics last week to a "Blossom Everywhere" campaign of blockades and vandalism stretched the police force, shut down large chunks of Hong Kong's train network and forced schools and shopping malls to close.

Students and protesters occupied several major universities around the city - the first time a movement characterised by its fluidity and unpredictability has coagulated in fixed locations.

A poster circulating on social media called for the "dawn action" to continue on Monday. "Get up early, directly target the regime, squeeze the economy to increase pressure," it said.

The education bureau said schools will remain closed at the start of the week "for the sake of safety".

SUNDAY CLASHES

Black-clad activists, known as "braves", threw Molotov cocktails at water cannon vehicles as they fired blue water towards them at PolyU, although their flimsy umbrellas were useless against the jets.

At one point a black armoured vehicle advanced towards the barricades, but it was forced to reverse after protesters launched bricks and several petrol bombs which caught alight under the van's chassis.

Protesters clash with police outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong
Protesters wear gas masks during clashes with police outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong, China, Nov 17, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Thomas Peter)

Protesters clash with police outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong
Police uses a water cannon against protesters during clashes outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong, China, Nov 17, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Thomas Peter)

Some protesters, who have been seen practising with powerful archery longbows in recent days, fired at police.

Dozens of government supporters had earlier gathered in the area to clear barricades near the university campus, which was the scene of more violence overnight as officers clashed with protesters.

READ: Armoured police vehicle set ablaze as Hong Kong violence escalates

About 80 to 100 middle-aged residents clapped and cheered as they moved debris from the road near the entrance to the tunnel that connects Kowloon with Hong Kong island - shut since Tuesday - before protesters in masks and their signature black T-shirts returned to rebuild the roadblock.

Television images showed activists throwing bricks at the residents to drive them away.

PolyU has become a flashpoint in the city rocked by a week of intensified violence and chaos. A message on the university's Facebook page urged demonstrators to leave "immediately".

Protesters clash with police at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong
Tear gas engulf umbrellas during clashes with police outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong, China, Nov 17, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha)

Protesters clash with police at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong
A masked protester is seen during clashes with police outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong, China, Nov 17, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha)

"In view of safety concerns posed by possible violent unlawful activities conducted by protesters who are still occupying the PolyU campus, the University again urges all people on campus, including students and staff members, not to stay, and to leave as soon as possible," the post said.

However, protesters circulated a poster online encouraging people to join them.

"Whole city unite, defend PolyU, defend Cross-Harbour Tunnel," it said.

A 23-year-old PolyU student called Kason said at the scene: "It will be good for us if we can have a base to keep our gear and have some rest at night before we set off for another fight in the morning."

MORE: Our coverage of the Hong Kong protests

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Source: AFP/mn

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