Hong Kong protests
Pro-democracy politician violently attacked
HONG KONG (AP) — A knife-wielding man slashed several people and bit off part of the ear of a pro-democracy politician in Hong Kong on Sunday, as riot police stormed several malls to thwart protesters who have been demanding government reforms for nearly five months.
The bloody attack erupted outside one of those shopping complexes, Cityplaza on Hong Kong Island. Local media said the attacker told his victims that Hong Kong belongs to China.
Television footage showed the man biting the ear of district councilor Andrew Chiu, who had tried to stop him from leaving after the stabbings. The attacker was then badly beaten up by a crowd before police arrived.
The government, condemning the attack, said five people were hospitalized including two in critical condition and appealed to people to stay rational and set aside their political differences. “They should abide by the law and not to resort to vigilantism,” a government spokesman said in a statement.
The attack came late Sunday, a day in which protesters had been urged online to gather at seven locations, including malls, to sustain a push for political reform.
Most of the rallies didn’t pan out as scores of riot police took positions, searching and arresting people, dispersing crowds and blocking access to a park next to the office of the city’s leader, Carrie Lam.
Some small pockets of hardcore demonstrators were undeterred.
As protesters chanted slogans at the New Town Plaza shopping mall in Sha Tin, police said they moved in after some “masked rioters” with fire extinguishers vandalized turnstiles and smashed windows at the subway station linked to the mall.
At two malls in the New Territories in the north, protesters vandalized shops, threw paint and attacked a branch of Japanese fast food chain Yoshinoya, which has been frequently targeted after the chain’s owner voiced support for the Hong Kong police.
Police rushed into one of the malls after objects were thrown at them. At another, protesters used umbrellas and cable ties to lock the mall entrance to prevent police from entering.
A man hits a suspected attacker after an incident broke out outside a Hong Kong mall, Sunday. Riot police stormed several malls in Hong Kong in a move to thwart more pro-democracy protests, though violence did break out when a knife-wielding man slashed several people and bit off part of the ear of a local pro-democracy politician.