HONG KONG, BALIPOST.com – Anger soared in Hong Kong on Monday over a vicious assault against pro-democracy protesters by a mob of suspected triad gangsters that left dozens wounded, one critically, in a dramatic escalation of the political violence plaguing the financial hub.
The city’s roiling unrest took a dark turn late Sunday when gangs of men — most wearing white t-shirts and carrying bats, sticks and metal poles — set upon anti-government demonstrators as they returned from another huge march earlier that day.
Footage from the attack broadcast live on Facebook showed people screaming as the men beat multiple protesters and journalists in Yuen Long station and inside subway trains, leaving pools of blood on the floor.
Hospital authorities said 45 people were wounded in the attack, with one man in critical condition and five others with serious injuries.
Critics rounded on the city’s embattled police force, accusing officers of taking more than an hour to reach the station despite frantic calls from those under attack and then failing to arrest the armed men who stayed in the streets around the station into Monday morning.
Some men in white shirts were later filmed leaving the scene in cars with Chinese mainland number plates.
Lam Cheuk-ting, a pro-democracy lawmaker, was one of those wounded in the melee, sustaining lacerations to his face and arms.
He criticised police for their response and accused “triad members” of being behind the attacks.
“Their very barbaric and violent acts have already completely violated the bottom line of Hong Kong’s civilised society,” he told reporters early Monday. (AFP)