Hong Kong protests: 1,100 people arrested in a day, 3,900 petrol bombs found at university

Hong Kong protests: 1,100 people arrested in a day, 3,900 petrol bombs found at university

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)

HONG KONG: About 1,100 people were arrested in one day as Hong Kong police officers found more than 3,900 petrol bombs at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), the most found in one location in the city.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday (Nov 19), a police spokesperson said staff from CUHK and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) had reported theft of dangerous chemicals from their laboratories.

“It’s alarming that universities in Hong Kong (have) turned into weapon factories,” he said.

“Regarding the standstill at (PolyU), the police have been searching for a peaceful resolution.

READ: Hong Kong university protesters defy surrender warnings

Molotov cocktails are left over at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University campus
Molotov cocktails are left over at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University campus, Nov 19, 2019. (Photo: AP/Ng Han Guan)

Molotov cocktails, gas canisters and other improvised weapons are left over at PolyU
Molotov cocktails, gas canisters and other improvised weapons are left over at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University campus, Nov 19, 2019. (Photo: AP/Ng Han Guan)

“Using force has always been the last resort in response to the violence of the rioters.”

Dozens of protesters barricaded inside PolyU have refused to surrender as police laid siege on the campus for the third day in a row.

The protesters ignored police warnings and refused to leave, the police spokesperson added.

About 1,100 people were arrested in a day for offences including taking part in riots and possession of offensive weapons.

COMMENTARY: Have the Hong Kong police lost control?

Collection of Molotov cocktails
Protesters sit on a sofa next to a collection of Molotov cocktails in front of a burning barricade at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Nov 13, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Anthony Wallace)

Molotov cocktails prepared by protesters are seen in boxes
Molotov cocktails prepared by protesters are seen in boxes on a road at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Nov 13, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Anthony Wallace)

“Yesterday, as assisted by the university staff, our officers entered the campus for evidence gathering and disposal of dangerous goods. (More than) 3,900 petrol bombs were seized, which is the highest number recorded in one single location.

“I’m saddened to report that CUHK has become a manufacturing base for petrol bombs."

The stolen chemicals include “concentrated acid”, he said, adding that they were "ingredients for making petrol bombs."

The police spokesperson also warned the chemicals were "highly corrosive and toxic" and close contact with them can lead to "long-lasting and even permanent nerve damage".

READ: Anxious families wait outside besieged Hong Kong campus

An anti-government protester makes Molotov cocktails during a protest at the Chinese University of
An anti-government protester makes Molotov cocktails during a protest at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Nov 12, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Tyrone Siu)

Graffiti naming an area as Shaolin Temple PolyU
Graffiti naming an area as Shaolin Temple and "World's Martial art come from Shaolin" are seen at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Nov 19, 2019. (Photo: AP/Ng Han Guan)

“We appeal to students to mind their own safety and not come into contact with those dangerous items if found on campus or public place.”

He confirmed a “large number” of underage people were among those in the campuses. They were not “arrested immediately” and were released after they handed over their personal information to police.

MORE: Our coverage of the Hong Kong protests

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Source: CNA/mi

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