Police retrieve fresh trove of petrol bombs from PolyU

December 04, 2019 12:03
A police officer gathers petrol bombs and other forensic evidence on the campus of the Polytechnic University on Nov. 28. Photo: Reuters

Police this week re-entered the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University it besieged for more than 10 days last month, gathering newly discovered chemicals and petrol bombs hoarded by anti-government protesters.

Following the dramatic saga where riot police and more than 1,000 demonstrators transformed the campus into a battleground officers were called to retrieve additional dangerous items found among the debris and stowed in locked areas.

Between Nov. 26 and Dec. 2 authorities seized 4,296 petrol bombs, 671 bottles of chemicals and 622 weapons, police said in a statement late on Tuesday.

Officers first entered the campus on Nov. 29, when they collected thousands of petrol bombs, which they dusted for fingerprints, as well as bows and arrows and bottles of chemicals.

The campus conflict began in mid-November when protesters barricaded themselves against riot police in days of violent clashes that marked a significant escalation in the political unrest that has roiled Hong Kong for six months.

About 1,100 people were arrested in connection with the campus siege.

Sparked by a controversial and since-withdrawn extradition bill, the protests have swelled into broader calls for greater democratic freedoms.

Sustained demonstrations, scheduled to continue this week and expected to draw thousands to the streets this weekend, show few signs of abating and are taking an economic toll on the global financial hub.

Business activity in Hong Kong contracted at the fastest pace in 21 years in November, dragged down by the protests and softening global demand, an IHS Markit survey showed on Wednesday.

Hong Kong recorded its largest-ever retail collapse in October, with sales dropping 24.3 percent to HK$30.1 billion, the government said on Monday.

The new figures will extend the technical recession recorded last quarter, with the government preparing to release a fourth round of economic stimulus. Reuters

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