Hong Kong police threaten to use live bullets as standoff with protesters escalates

Hong Kong police threaten to use live bullets as standoff with protesters escalates

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HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong police threatened on Monday to use live bullets if “rioters” used lethal weapons and committed other acts of violence, after the latest flare up during five months of anti-government protests in the Chinese ruled city.
The police statement followed fresh clashes outside a university in the center of Hong Kong where protesters were hunkered down behind makeshift shields and hurled petrol bombs at police in a standoff blocking a vital tunnel link.
Police had said on Sunday one officer had been treated in hospital after being hit in the leg by an arrow and another had his visor struck by a metal ball although he was not hurt.
The violence, which has convulsed the Asian financial hub, has posed the gravest popular challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012. Xi has said he is confident Hong Kong’s government can resolve the crisis.
In Monday’s statement, police warned people who were described as rioters to stop using lethal weapons to attack officers and to halt other acts of violence, saying police would respond with force and possibly live bullets if necessary.
Demonstrators, angry at what they see as Chinese meddling in the former British colony, have said they are responding to excessive use of force by police.

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