Violent clashes broke out between police and protesters in banned demonstrations across several areas in downtown Hong Kong in the afternoon (local time) of Tuesday, October 1, amid celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic.
As of 20:00, at least 12 areas across Kowloon, Hong Kong Island, and the New Territories were affected as protesters started to move east towards Tin Hau. The situation remains particularly tense in Causeway Bay. The use of water cannons and tear gas by police against protesters has been reported in Causeway Bay, Admiralty, Tuen Mun, Wong Tai Sin, Tsuen Wan, Sha Tin, and Sham Shui Po. At least five live rounds have also been fired, injuring two protesters. According to hospital authorities, at least 31 protesters were injured in the clashes.
As violence escaladed through the day, protesters have reportedly used corrosive fluids and petrol bombs against security forces, injuring multiple police officers and reporters. Protesters also started fires in Wong Tai Sin, Tuen Mun, and Wan Chai, trashed MTR stations, and vandalized several locations associated with the Chinese government, including the pro-Beijing party Democratic Alliance branch office, Beijing-loyalist lawmakers' offices in Wong Tai Sin, and the government office in Sham Shui Po, which was petrol bombed around 20:30. Further escalation between demonstrators and security forces are likely in the coming hours.
Severe traffic disruptions are reported across the city as 40 MTR stations are closed, with Ma On Shan rail line and Tsuen Wan line completely shut down, and the West rail line only operating between Hung Hong and Mei Foo station.
Police advises the public to remain indoors. A heightened security presence is likely across Hong Kong until the situation fully stabilizes. Severe transportation and business disruptions are to be expected in Hong Kong in the coming days as territory-wide strikes have been called through Monday, October 7.
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 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.
Ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic, Chinese government had more than doubled the number of mainland security troops deployed in Hong Kong.
Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations, prepare for associated disruptions to transportation and business, budget additional time to reach Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
It is advised to avoid wearing black and white colors around protest zones or rallies as they are associated with protesters
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