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HK fire victim still in critical condition

Last Updated: 2019-11-13 07:16 | China Daily Global
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A man who was doused with flammable liquid and set alight by radical protesters in Hong Kong on Monday was still in critical condition, a spokesman for the Hospital Authority said on Tuesday.

The 57-year-old man suffered more than 40 percent burns and is under close medical supervision in the intensive care unit.

Police have classified the case as attempted murder, a charge which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. They are also appealing for any witnesses to come forward and provide information on the incident.

The spokesman also said that a protester who was shot with live ammunition in the Sai Wan Ho area on Monday morning had his medical condition downgraded from critical to serious on Tuesday. A traffic police officer, who shot and wounded the black-clad rioter during a scuffle, had acted in "a split second" to protect his life, as well as those of others, when the protester tried to snatch his gun, according to Hong Kong police.

Hong Kong was plunged into citywide chaos for a second straight day, amid violent actions by radical protesters in multiple districts calling for a "general strike". Like the day before, they disrupted the morning commute by blocking subway lines, setting up barricades and scattering nails on roads to block private cars and buses.

Service on four major subway lines that transport commuters into Hong Kong Island from Kowloon and the New Territories had either been suspended or delayed, subway operator MTR Corp said on its website.

A train on the East Rail Line was forced to stop in the middle of operation after obstacles were found on the tracks. The commuters had to walk on the rail track to get back to the nearby Sha Tin station.

Public buses had to cease operations in the middle of roads after being trashed and painted with graffiti on windshields. About 30 buses were forced to park along Nathan Road at Mong Kok as their tires were punctured by protesters.

Radicals also threw bricks and other hard objects from high places, such as overpasses, onto roads where cars and pedestrians were passing through, forcing police to fire tear gas to disperse them. At least one man was taken to hospital with head injuries after being hit by an object thrown from a footbridge over Pok Fu Lam Road near the University of Hong Kong.

At least six universities announced the suspension of classes on Wednesday.

More than 100 black-clad protesters barricaded a road near the Chinese University of Hong Kong and confronted police. They then challenged the police cordon, despite mediation by university staff members. Multiple fires were seen on campus, including a burned-out car in the middle of the road. Police fired several rounds of tear gas and arrested three protesters.

In the morning, a group of people broke into a storehouse in a sports stadium at CUHK and took away bows, arrows and javelins with metallic arrowheads. The equipment that was known to have been taken was retrieved, according to a statement from the university.

Another group of protesters gathered on a footbridge leading to City University of Hong Kong and threw bricks and other objects onto the streets. Police dispersed the area with tear gas.

It is legitimate for the police to take action on campus in accordance with the law, in bid to prevent any areas in the city becoming shelters for lawbreakers, a police spokesman said on Tuesday.

More than 60 percent of the 287 people arrested on Monday were students, according to the police.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, at a regular press briefing before the Executive Council meets, condemned the radicals' action of paralyzing traffic as "extremely selfish". Their intention was to force a citywide shutdown, Lam said.

Lam conveyed her respect for Hong Kong people who kept going to work and school despite the adverse traffic situation. She also expressed gratitude to the people of Hong Kong who voluntarily cleaned up the debris on roads, saying they "injected positive energy" into the chaos experienced by the city.

A group of the city's pro-establishment legislators on Tuesday made their strongest condemnation against rioters' brutal, widespread violence.

Meeting members of the media as radicals vandalized the city's Central business district, the lawmakers also urged the government to establish an intergovernmental task force to end the rampant violence that has been haunting the city for more than five months.

The group called on everyone in the community to stop embellishing violence that has "lost rationality and humanity" and to support the government in law-enforcement actions to restore the city's law and order.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Commissioner's Office of the Foreign Ministry in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region said that the brutal action of black-clad rioters in Hong Kong is "no different from terrorism".

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