A Hong Kong police officer was hit in the leg by an arrow and protesters yesterday set an overhead footbridge on fire as they fought to keep police using tear gas and water cannons from advancing on their university campus stronghold.
Police said the arrow struck a media liaison officer in the calf and he was taken to a hospital.
Photographs on the department’s Facebook page show the arrow sticking out of the back of the officer’s leg through his pants.
As riot police moved in from all sides, some protesters retreated inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University, while others set fires on bridges leading to it.
A huge blaze burned along much of a long footbridge that connects a train station to the campus over the approach to the Cross-Harbour Tunnel, a major roadway that has been blocked by the protesters for days.
The use of bows and arrows, along with Molotov cocktails launched with catapults, threatened to escalate the violence in the more than five-month-long anti-government movement.
Police and protesters faced off all day yesterday outside Polytechnic after a pitched battle the previous night in which the two sides exchanged tear gas and Molotov cocktails that left fires blazing in the street.
A large group of people arrived in the morning to try to clean up the road, but were warned away by protesters.
Riot police shot several volleys of tear gas at the protesters, who sheltered behind a wall of umbrellas and threw gasoline bombs into nearby bushes and trees.
The protesters held their ground for most of the day, as water cannon trucks drove over bricks and nails strewn by protesters to spray them at close range — some with water dyed blue to help police identify protesters afterward.
Protesters began retreating into the university’s campus near sunset, fearing they would be trapped as police fired tear gas volleys and approached from other directions.
The protesters have barricaded the entrances to the campus and set up narrow access control points — the holdouts from larger groups that occupied several major campuses for much of last week.
Another group threw bricks in the street to block Nathan Road in Mongkok District, as police fired tear gas to try to disperse them.
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