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Hong Kong protests: chaos rages as Wong Tai Sin residents turn on police for using tear gas in their neighbourhood, following clashes across Mong Kok and Tsim Sha Tsui

Local fury at riot squads after protesters and police trade petrol bombs and tear gas, while off-duty police and families are targeted by radicals

Another day of mass protest sees tens of thousands join approved anti-government march in Kowloon, as well as rival pro-police rally in Hong Kong Islan

Hong Kong’s working-class district of Wong Tai Sin was rocked by unprecedented protest violence late on Saturday night, with residents turning on riot police who used tear gas in the streets of the densely packed neighbourhood.


The chaos and violence raged on beyond midnight after shopping hubs in the heart of Kowloon became smoking battlefields as defiant anti-government protesters clashed with riot police, having seized control of the streets throughout the day, paralysing traffic and forcing businesses to close early.

Tensions flared in Wong Tai Sin, the district that houses the temple devoted to the Taoist deity of the same name, as protesters laid siege to the police station and vandalised the building’s front.

When police moved to disperse the protesters, local residents objected, and officers found themselves facing angry crowds, some of whom turned violent.

Hundreds then blocked police vans from leaving, claiming arrested protesters were being taken away, and attacked the outnumbered officers, using fire extinguishers, helmets, umbrellas and other objects. Police used pepper spray and waved their batons at protesters and residents alike.

Tear gas was fired at the height of the chaos, prompting many to complain that, unlike the protesters, local residents had no protection against the fumes.

Late into the night, hardcore protesters in Wong Tai Sin targeted the disciplined services quarters, where off-duty officers and their families lived, with reports of explosives being let off outside the building and objects thrown, breaking windows on the lower floors.

The chaos capped off yet another day of mass protests earlier attended by tens of thousands of mostly peaceful demonstrators against

the now-abandoned extradition bill

. After an approved march had ended, radical groups then besieged Tsim Sha Tsui Police Station while the final battles there and in Mong Kok saw police firing round after round of tear gas at protesters who attacked or fought back with bricks and metal rods.

Alexander Gruysson