Hong Kong police arrest 336 during Christmas period
Hong Kong police made 336 arrests in violent incidents during the Christmas period and vowed to take all necessary legal means to stop violence.
At a press conference on Friday, police said 244 males and 92 females, aged between 12 and 54, were arrested from Monday to the early morning of Friday for offenses including unlawful assembly, possession of offensive weapon, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and obstructing a public officer.
Thirteen police officers were injured in operations.
Chief Superintendent of Police Public Relations Branch (PPRB) Kwok Ka-chuen said rioters committed violent acts in multiple shopping malls in Hong Kong, ruining the holiday of Hong Kong residents, destroying the livelihood of numerous workers, and causing panic throughout Hong Kong.
"It is dangerous for ordinary residents to even go out to have a dinner and go shopping," Kwok said. Talking about a shop vandalized by rioters for refusing to hand over CCTV footage, Kwok said it is basically the practice of criminal gangs.
Large groups of masked rioters took to the streets and thronged into major shopping malls in the past few days. Although seemed peaceful at first, they quickly went on a rampage by assaulting police and passersby, storming shops and restaurants, and throwing petrol bombs into a police station.
Kwok warned rioters not to challenge the rule of law anymore and vowed to take all necessary legal means to stop violence.
Hong Kong police also seized explosives including smoke bombs and inflammables and arrested a 18-year-old student in Kwun Tong on Tuesday. Senior Superintendent of PPRB Kong Wing-cheung said those explosives could cause a disaster and warned rioters not to take residents' lives as an experiment.