Tensions flared up in the Mong Kok area in Kowloon on Saturday night as people gathered to mark the three-month anniversary of a violent police crackdown on anti-government protesters.
Perceiving a hostile situation as citizens denounced an end-August train station clash, police resorted to tear gas and pepper balls to disperse the crowd.
Earlier in the night, a large number of people gathered outside the Prince Edward MTR Station to mark three months of the Aug. 31 crackdown, when police officers were accused of using excessive force and beating up people indiscriminately inside the rail station and in train carriages.
At around 9 pm on Saturday, some of the protesters began to use miscellaneous items including trash bins and water-filled barriers to form road barricades, seriously obstructing the traffic at the intersection of Prince Edward Road West and Nathan Road.
After several warnings produced no results, anti-riot officers fired pepper balls at the crowd, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Meanwhile, exits C1, C2 and B of the Prince Edward MTR Station were closed by the staff of the railway operator in security precautions.
A woman at the scene was allegedly hit in the eye by what was believed to have been a pepper-ball. She was given first-aid treatment on the spot.
Later on, three canisters of tear gas were fired after a police car on Nathan Road came under petrol bomb attack.
It marked the first time that tear gas was used since the district council election on Nov. 24.
Not long after midnight, some black-clad protesters blocked roads again in Mong Kok.
According to the police, a 53-year-old man was assaulted by a protester and suffered a head injury during a violent quarrel.
The victim was trying to clear a roadblock at the intersection of Nathan Road and Mong Kok Road at around 1 am on Sunday, when he came under attack, the police say.
The victim, who later discovered that his mobile phone had been stolen, was sent in a conscious state to Kwong Wah Hospital for treatment.
After initial investigation, the police classified the case as wounding and theft. No arrests have been made so far in connection with that attack.
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