Tanks move in as Hong Kong clashes rage on

Daily Express - - NEWS - By Michael Knowles

RIOT po­lice clashed with pro-democ­racy cam­paign­ers in Hong Kong again last night as Chi­nese para­mil­i­tary vehicles moved to within three miles of the bor­der.

Ar­moured troop car­ri­ers and tanks were pa­raded in Shen­zhen, south-east China, as Hong Kong’s leader warned ris­ing ten­sion is push­ing the for­mer Bri­tish colony “into an abyss where ev­ery­thing will per­ish”.

Around 12,000 of­fi­cers from the Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Armed Po­lice Force, tanks, he­li­copters, and am­phibi­ous vehicles gath­ered for drills.

Sep­a­rate video also showed mil­i­tary vehicles en­ter­ing Shen­zhen Bay Sports Cen­ter, just three miles from Hong Kong.

At the city’s in­ter­na­tional air­port, riot po­lice used pep­per spray as they bat­tled masked pro­test­ers for a fifth suc­ces­sive day.

Dis­guised

Demon­stra­tors mobbed a sus­pected un­der­cover po­lice­man and zip-tied his hands to­gether be­fore search­ing his pos­ses­sions.

They beat a po­lice­man with his own ba­ton be­fore flee­ing when he drew his gun.

Po­lice have ad­mit­ted de­ploy­ing of­fi­cers dis­guised as anti-gov­ern­ment pro­test­ers dur­ing the un­rest.

Demon­stra­tors set up a bar­ri­cade of lug­gage trol­leys at one of the air­port’s main se­cu­rity gates then stood up to block pas­sen­gers who sought to get through.

They chanted: “Stand with Hong Kong, stand for free­dom,” and daubed graf­fiti that in­cluded the term “an eye for an eye”.

Hong Kong’s pro-Bei­jing leader Car­rie Lam warned of dan­ger­ous con­se­quences if the protests con­tinue. “Vi­o­lence will push Hong Kong down a path of no re­turn,” she said.

“Let’s set aside dif­fer­ences and spend one minute to look at our city and our home.

“Could we bear to push it into an abyss where ev­ery­thing will per­ish?”

State me­dia branded the pro­test­ers “mob­sters”, and said “vi­o­lent rad­i­cals” were push­ing Hong Kong into the abyss. A Cen­tral China TV an­chor warned view­ers: “When deal­ing with ter­ror­ism, there is no soft hand”

Protests started in June in re­sponse to a pro­posed ex­tra­di­tion bill, which has now been sus­pended. But demon­stra­tors now want greater democ­racy and ac­tion on al­leged po­lice bru­tal­ity.

Pic­tures: REUTERS, PHILIP COBURN

A woman wears a bloody ban­dage in trib­ute to a pro­tester who was shot in the eye by se­cu­rity forces

A con­voy of ar­moured troop car­ri­ers move to­wards the bor­der be­tween main­land China and Hong Kong yesterday, while, right, trav­ellers pick their way through pro-democ­racy pro­test­ers at the air­port

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