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17 Nov 2019 | 07:13 PM UTC

Hong Kong: Police threaten to use live ammunition amid escalating protests November 18 /update 161

Hong Kong, SAR China News Alert

Police threaten to use live ammunition against protesters as violence escalates November 18; further protests likely over the near term

TIMEFRAME expected from 11/17/2019, 12:00 AM until 11/18/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Hong_Kong). COUNTRY/REGION Hong Kong, Polytechnic University

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Hong Kong police released a statement on Monday, November 18, threatening to use live bullets against protesters if they continue to use lethal weapons against police. This announcement follows a day of violent protests on Sunday, November 17, during which protesters at Polytechnic University in Hung Hom threw petrol bombs and bricks at police. Police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse the protesters.

The MTR public transport network announced disruptions on the East Rail Line and the Light Rail on Sunday due to vandalism at certain stations. Up-to-date information on service information and station closures can be found on the MTR website.

Further protests may be organized with little warning and a heightened security presence is likely across Hong Kong until the political situation in the city fully stabilizes. Severe transportation and business disruptions are to be expected during all periods of protest activity. Clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.


Tension significantly escalated across the territory on November 11, after a police officer shot a protester in Sai Wan Ho. Later in the day, a man confronting protesters was reportedly set on fire.

On September 4, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill, which would have allowed authorities in Hong Kong to extradite fugitives wanted in mainland China and other territories. The bill sparked mass protests of up to 2 million people throughout Hong Kong since June 9. However, protest actions have continued since the government's announcement, as protesters' demands evolved into a wider pro-democracy movement, calling for government reforms and police accountability over violence.

Demonstrations have spread from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon and the New Territories in recent weeks and have also become increasingly violent. Activists have also accused the police of using unnecessary force in their attempts to disperse protesters.


Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations, prepare for disruptions to transportation and business around protest sites, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.

Individuals are also advised to avoid wearing black and white colors around protest zones or rallies as they are associated with protesters.


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