In another instance of the escalating violence of the protest in Hong Kong, a police media liaison officer was shot with an arrow to the leg earlier today.
The attack happened near the Polytechnic University (PolyU) which the police have besieged to clear the campus of protesters. The protesters in return have been fighting back with arrows and petrol bombs.
In a statement the university urged those occupying the campus to leave.
“Universities are venues for advancing knowledge and nurturing talents. Universities are not battlegrounds for political disputes and should not be drawn into violent confrontations,” it read.
Police said the wounded officer had been on duty near the PolyU when he was hit by the arrow on Sunday afternoon.
Officers have warned that they could use live ammunition if protesters do not stop attacking them using such weapons.
The latest violence is however some of the worst the semi-autonomous Chinese territory has seen since the movement began. The police have become targets for radical demonstrators, who accuse them of excessive force.
Police have so far been responding to violence around the PolyU campus mostly with tear gas and water cannon.
Those occupying the university have been told to leave immediately. Dozens have reportedly been arrested but many hundreds remain inside.
There are fears of bloodshed should police move in to quell what they have now declared a riot.”I hereby warn rioters not to use petrol bombs, arrows, cars or any deadly weapons to attack police officers,” police spokesman Louis Lau said in a statement broadcast via Facebook.
“If they continue such dangerous actions, we would have no choice but to use the minimum force necessary, including live rounds, to fire back.”
Earlier on Sunday police fired a live round in response to what they said was a car hurtling towards officers near the university.
In recent days, Hong Kong’s university campuses have been the scenes of pitched battles between police and demonstrators.
On Sunday, riot police fired tear gas and used water cannon against protesters at the PolyU, who launched bricks and petrol bombs at them. Protesters took cover behind umbrellas on a footbridge and set light to debris there, causing a huge fire.
The blaze triggered a number of small explosions, witnesses said, and fire crews eventually moved in to douse the flames.
There have also been heavy clashes on a bridge above the Cross Harbour tunnel, which links Kowloon and Hong Kong island.
A police truck on the bridge was set on fire and forced to retreat.Pro-democracy lawmakers are trying to enter the campus to communicate with those inside, the South China Morning Post newspaper reports. (Source: BBC)