10/02/2019, 09.44
HONG KONG - CHINA
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18-year-old shot in the chest by the police in Hong Kong clashes stable

Yesterday demonstrators took to the streets to express their discontent on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.  Tsang Chi-kin was wounded in the left lung, three centimeters from his heart.  Activists denounce an "alarming" development in terms of police response to the protests.  The escalation of violence has injured many journalists.

 

Hong Kong (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The conditions of the student who, during yesterday's demonstrations in Hong Kong, was hit by a bullet shot at close range by a police officer, are stable.  The hospital authorities of the former British colony report that medical personnel have resorted to a delicate surgical operation to save the young man.  Tsang Chi-kin, 18, was shot in Tsuen Wan, during a fight with an officer.

Yesterday demonstrators took to the streets to express their discontent on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.  In addition to using tear gas, water cannons and pepper spray, Hong Kong police fired live ammunition at a demonstrator for the first time.  The protesters, in turn, threw Molotov cocktails and bricks, set fire to improvised barricades and vandalized some shops, as well as the exits of the metro stations.  The escalation of violence during the protests caused the wounding of numerous journalists, pushing some broadcasters and newspapers to decide to withdraw their personnel from the coverage of the day.

Stephen Lo, police commissioner, defended his officers in the evening and gave details of the dynamics that led to Tsang Chi-kin's injury.  Gun in hand, the agent rushed to a group of protesters who were attacking a colleague, but he was surrounded.  According to the police reconstruction, Tsang intended to hit the officer with a metal rod before the latter fired.  The bullet struck Tsang in the left lung, three centimeters from the heart.  The young man was in critical condition when he arrived at the hospital.  The bullet was removed during an operation.  During a press conference, Lo told the media: "" My colleague was under attack at close range.  He made a decision in a fraction of a second because he felt his life and that of his companion were in danger.  We believe that [the action] was reasonable and legal”.

According to activists, the incident marks an "alarming" development in terms of police response to the protests.  This morning, hundreds of students gathered at the Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College - the university where Tsang is studying - to express solidarity with the young man and protest the police behavior.

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