Pro-democracy activists and commuters were brutally attacked in Hong Kong last night as men dressed in white left 45 in hospital.
The men, who wore white shirts and were suspected to be triad gangsters – stormed a train station in the city to attack regular commuters and protesters alike with batons.
One person was in a critical condition after the attacks.
Footage of the violence on social media showed the men forcing up shutters in the station before rushing at protesters and passersby.
They also boarded a subway train to attack people, who shielded themselves with umbrellas as the men used metal rods and wooden bats, as well as canes and brooms.
Police were accused of arriving too slowly to the scene, with lawmaker Lam Chek-ting saying it took authorities more than an hour to appear at the scene in Yuen Long, in Hong Kong’s new territories.
Pro-democracy lawmaker Ray Chan added: “Hong Kong has one of the world’s highest cop to population ratio. Where were @hkpoliceforce?”
Snippet of a live broadcast from lawmaker Lam Cheuk ting, showing self-professed pro-Gov't mobsters attacking passengers in train cars at #MTR #YuenLong Stn. #HongKong has 1 of the world's highest cop to population ratio. Where were @hkpoliceforce? Lam was injured as shown live. pic.twitter.com/Aq5JmJlf5u— Ray Chan (@ray_slowbeat) July 21, 2019
Police said today they had made no arrests but were undertaking investigations.
Witnesses said a pregnant woman and a woman holding an infant were hurt in the attack, the Guardian reported.
One woman gave her account of the attack in an audio recording shared online, saying: “They beat people in the carriage indiscriminately whoever they were, even people who were returning home from work.
“Some men were shielding us. They didn’t fight back otherwise we would have been beaten even worse. They beat even women and children.”
“Is Hong Kong now allowing triads to do what they want, beating up people on the street with weapons?” Democratic party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting, who was at the station, asked media.
The men targeted demonstrators returning from an anti-government rally that saw hundreds of thousands of people march yesterday.
It quickly turned into havoc, however, as police and protesters fought and riot police hit demonstrators with teargas and rubber bullets.
Main image credit: Getty