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HK protesters fire arrows, throw petrol bombs from university fortress

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HONG KONG: Hong Kong protesters shot bows and arrows and hurled petrol bombs from a barricaded university campus yesterday, as police charged, firing tear gas and blue liquid from water cannons after fiery clashes overnight.

Several protesters fired arrows from rooftops at Hong Kong Polytechnic University amid some of the most dramatic scenes in over five months of unrest in the city.

Police said a media liaison officer was hit in the leg by an arrow. He was taken to hospital for treatment. A metal ball hit another officer in the visor, but he was not wounded.

Protesters stripped down to their underwear, before being hosed down by other demonstrators with water to wash off the dye.

Police also fired tear gas to try and break up protesters on the artery of Nathan Road in the Kowloon district of Mong Kok, a frequent venue for unrest.

Huge fires lit up the sky at the university in the heart of Kowloon district overnight as protesters hurled petrol bombs, some by catapult, and police fired volleys of tear gas to draw them out into the open.

HK protesters fire arrows, throw petrol bombs from university fortress
A demonstrator with a Molotov cocktail.

The clashes spread into yesterday evening, with protesters greeting each water cannon charge with petrol bombs.

"Rioters continue to launch hard objects and petrol bombs with large catapults at police officers," police said in a statement.

"The shooting range of such large catapults can reach up to 40m... Police warn that the violent activities in the Hong Kong Polytechnic University have escalated to rioting."

Parts of the university campus looked more like a fortress with barricades and black-clad protesters manning the ramparts with improvised weapon-like bricks, crates of fire bombs, and bows and arrows at the ready.

"We are not afraid," said Year 3 student Ah Long, who chose not to disclose his full name.

"If we don't persist, we will fail. So why not (go) all in," he said.

Later that evening, a police truck was forced to retreat in reverse after being hit by a petrol bomb.

The campus is the last of five universities to remain occupied. - REUTERS