HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong police shot a teenager on Tuesday, the first time a protester has been hit by live ammunition during four months of demonstrations, as the Chinese-ruled city was rocked by widespread unrest on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic. In cat-and-mouse clashes that spread from the upmarket district of Causeway Bay to the Admiralty area of government offices on Hong Kong island, police were pelted with petrol bombs and responded by firing tear gas and water cannon.
Police said an officer shot an 18-year-old man in the shoulder in the Tsuen Wan area of the New Territories with a live round. Protesters have previously been hit before with bean bags rounds and rubber bullets and officers have fired live rounds in the air. Verified video footage of the incident widely shared on social media shows a chaotic melee with riot police battling protesters wielding metal bars, before an officer fires a shot at close range.
As the wounded man steps back and falls, someone tries to help, but another policeman tackles him to the ground. “A large group of rioters was attacking police officers in Tsuen Wan,” police said in a statement. “Police officers warned them, but they were still attacking police. A police officer’s life was seriously endangered.
In order to save his and other officers’ lives, they fired at the attacker.” There were no immediate details on the wounded man’s condition. Former colonial ruler Britain said the use of live ammunition was disproportionate. Nearly four months of street clashes and demonstrations have plunged the former British colony into its biggest political crisis in decades and pose the most serious popular challenge to President Xi Jinping since he came to power.
Protesters had vowed to seize the opportunity on China’s National Day to propel their calls for greater democracy onto the international stage, hijacking an occasion Beijing sees as an opportunity to showcase China’s economic and military progress. Related CoverageDramatic footage captures moment when Hong Kong protester shotOne person in critical condition as HK protests escalate: hospital authoritySee more stories “I’m not young, but if we don’t march now, we’ll never have the chance to speak again, it’s as simple as that,” said one marcher near Causeway Bay, a 42-year-old woman with her own logistics company who identified herself as Li.
POLICE BAN DEFIED Thousands of black-clad protesters, some wearing Guy Fawkes masks, marched on Admiralty, defying a police ban. Violence escalated across the harbor to Kowloon and beyond to the New Territories. Police vans chasing down pro-democracy protesters in the key drag of Hennessy Road. Police said 31 people had been wounded across the territory, two critically, without giving details.
. Protester Jerry, 26, dressed in black and sitting amid the wreckage in Causeway Bay, denounced.....