Hong Kong students fire giant catapult during latest protests

Months-long protests have become more violent over perceived police brutality

Claire Lomas
Thursday 14 November 2019 14:56
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Hong Kong students use giant makeshift catapult to defend themselves and attack police

Giant makeshift catapults are being used by protesters in Hong Kong to fire projectiles.

In a video posted on the Hong Kong University Students’ Union Facebook page, people can be seen testing what appears to be a DIY trebuchet made out of wooden sticks and a bucket.

The months-long protests were spurred by what many residents see as the stifling by Beijing of freedoms guaranteed under the “one country, two systems” formula put in place when Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Anger has grown over perceived police brutality as the protests intensified. Police deny being heavy handed and say they have shown restraint in the face of potentially deadly attacks.

Yet violence has escalated in recent days, with police shooting and wounding one protester at close range and one man described as a “rioter” dousing a man with petrol before setting him on fire. The man who was shot was in stable condition. The man who was lit on fire suffered burns to his torso and head, and was in critical condition.

Footage also shared online shows pro-democracy protesters barricading roads and disrupting transport links, as schools and businesses closed. ​​

At Polytechnic University, protesters shot an arrow at officers patrolling nearby, then threw flower pots from a height when other officers arrived. Police responded with tear gas, and protesters fired more arrows.

Students at Chinese University, site of some of the fiercest clashes where students hurled more than 400 firebombs at police on Tuesday, have barricaded themselves in the suburban campus.

Police said 224 people were arrested since Wednesday for various offences.

With additional reporting by Reuters

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