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15 oct. 2019 | 02h49 UTC

Hong Kong: Police accuse protesters of detonating explosive device /update 127

Hong Kong, SAR China Alerte de sécurité

Police officials claim an explosive device was detonated near a police car during protests on October 13; further demonstrations planned in the coming days

TIMEFRAME expected from 15/10/2019, 12h00 until 21/10/2019, 11h59 (Asia/Hong_Kong). COUNTRY/REGION Hong Kong

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Event

During a press conference on Monday, October 14, Hong Kong police officials accused protesters of detonating a home-made bomb near a police car during recent protests. According to officials, the device was set off in Mong Kok (Kowloon) on Sunday, October 13, as officers were clearing roadblocks in the area. No casualties were reported from the blast. Authorities also said that one police officer was cut in the neck by a protester armed with an edged weapon. At least 201 people were arrested during protests on Saturday, October 12, and Sunday. In response to the recent violence, the government has banned protesters from obstructing roads, blocking or damaging areas used to house married police officers, and shining lase pens or flash lights at police facilities.

Public transportation disruptions continue on Tuesday, October 15, due to the recent violent protest. All MTR train (except Airport Express), Light Rail, and bus service will end at 22:00 (local time) on Tuesday. Further disruptions, including station closures, are possible in the coming days, particularly around protest sites.

Demonstrations are expected to continue over the near term and may occur with little warning. On Friday, October 18, a masked human chain protest across 18 districts is expected to be held from 19:00 to 21:00. Supporters are being asked to wear a mask and gather at all MTR stations along the Tsuen Wan, Kwun Tong, Island, and East Rail lines. Another rally to protest a recent ban on wearing masks is scheduled to be held on Sunday, October 20, in Tsim Sha Tsui. Protesters are being asked to gather at Salisbury Garden starting at 13:30 before marching to West Kowloon station. Clashes between protesters and security forces are possible.

A heightened security presence is likely across Hong Kong until the situation fully stabilizes. Severe transportation and business disruptions are to be expected during all periods of protest activity.

Context

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.

Advice

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.

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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