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01 Apr 2020 | 07:19 AM UTC

Hong Kong: Police station in Tao Po firebombed April 1 /update 192

Firembombs thrown at Tai Po police station April 1; similar attacks on police facilities and officers’ living quarters possible over the near term

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HKG

Event

On Wednesday, April 1, at approximately 02:30 (local time) five petrol bombs were thrown at the Hong Kong Police station in Tai Po by three assailants. No casualties were reported, and police arrested three suspects in connection with the attack.

Security around police stations and officers' living quarters has been increased following similar attacks and messages on Telegram, a popular messaging application, encouraging users to target police facilities.

Further attacks are possible over the near term.

Context

The April 1 attack on the Tai Po Police Station comes amid a string of related attacks on police facilities and living quarters in Hong Kong in recent weeks. Most recently, similar petrol-bomb attacks targeted a police living-quarters compound in Sheung Shui on March 23, and another targeted a police station in Happy Valley on March 30; no casualties were reported in either case.

Demonstrations have been held throughout Hong Kong since June 2019 to protest a controversial extradition bill, which would have allowed authorities in Hong Kong to extradite fugitives wanted in mainland China and other territories. While the bill was withdrawn on September 4, mass protests continue to be organized to demand government reforms and police accountability over violence since the start of the demonstrations. Pro-democracy candidates won 389 of the 452 seats in the territory's district council elections on November 24. The pro-democracy movement victory and the high turnout (71 percent) of the vote suggest that the public continues to support protests. Over 7000 people have been arrested since the protests began.

Advice

Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to monitor developments, report suspicious objects and behavior to police, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.