HONG KONG: Police said that a remote-controlled homemade bomb, similar to those used in "terrorist attacks", was set off for the first time during the protests in Hong Kong on Sunday (Oct 13).
The device was remotely controlled by a mobile phone and detonated as a police car drove past and officers were clearing road blocks in Mong Kok, Kowloon, police said at a press conference.
"For the first time during this social unrest, we seized a homemade bomb. At around 8pm yesterday, one of our vehicles was passing through Nathan Road in Mong Kok when some explosives erupted just 2m to 3m away from the car," Deputy Commissioner Tang Ping- keung said.
"We believe such explosives were intended to attack our officers. We strongly condemn the manufacturing of explosives, and it is a highly dangerous act that can cause heavy casualties."
Mr Suryanto Chin-chiu, an officer with the police force's bomb disposal unit, said the device was concocted with a "homemade device and some homemade high-performance explosives."
No casualties were reported.
Peaceful rallies descended into chaos on Sunday with running skirmishes between protesters and police in shopping malls and on the streets.
About 20 petrol bombs were thrown at Mong Kok police station over the weekend, with protesters also setting police vehicles on fire in Sha Tin.
A police officer also had his neck slashed by a protester.
"This attack shows intent to take his life ... Violence against police has reached a life-threatening level," Mr Tang said.
"They are not protesters, they are rioters and criminals.Whatever causes they claim they are fighting for can never justify such triad-like behaviour," he added.
Police said the acts “crossed all moral boundaries”.
Besides the attacks on police officers, extensive damage was done to transport facilities, with protesters also setting buildings on fire, police added.
"Please refrain from any obstruction when our officers are carrying out their lawful duties. Please cut ties with these criminals and rioters, and please help us to bring Hong Kong back to the right track."
Hong Kong has been rocked by four months of often huge and violent protests against what is seen as Beijing's tightening grip on the Chinese-ruled city.
The unrest has plunged the city into its worst crisis since Britain handed it back to China in 1997 and poses the biggest popular challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.
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