Hong Kong/Jakarta/Singapore (17/10). What happen to peaceful rallies, cool slogans and passionate songs of democracy? Now the demonstrations in Hong Kong escalates to the new level. Bombing.
Drones and corrosive solution were seized on Tuesday (Oct 15) during a police raid on a Mong Kok residential flat, in what investigators suspected to be airborne weapons planned for use against officers in the ongoing protests.
Officers intercepted two male suspects aged 17 and 23 in Larch Street, Mong Kok, around 7.30pm on Tuesday before raiding the Oak Street flat. In a follow-up raid, officers also seized four signal flares, five smoke bombs, knives and slings in a Whampoa Garden flat in Hung Hom.
Two modified mobile phones, which could be used as a trigger to detonate remote-controlled bombs, were also found in the Oak Street flat. No explosives were found during the raid.
The drones, throwers and suspected sulphuric acid could be used to make airborne weapons. The discovery came two days after a home-made explosive was remotely detonated on Sunday by radical protesters, aimed at hurting the police.
Superintendent Raymond Chou said the Oak Street flat had been rented by one of the suspects since last Friday.
Officers were investigating the intended use for the seized items, whether the two suspects were being directed by others or had any accomplices. Initial examination showed it was a similar device-type trigger that detonated a bomb in Mong Kok during the protest on Sunday.
A homemade bomb was detonated amid violent protests, indicating an escalation in the street-level arms race between police officers and the protesters. It marked the first time in the ongoing crisis that a device was used with the intent of killing or maiming police.
The remote-controlled bomb planted in a flowerpot between Fife Street and Nathan Road, in Mong Kok, exploded after police officers parked their car and got out to clear protesters’ roadblocks about 10 to 15 metres from the bomb.
The improvised bomb was far more complicated in design than a gasoline bomb and required a higher degree of skill to manufacture. Improvised bombs, often called IEDs (Improvised Explosive Device), have been used by insurgents in such places as Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, but how lethal such weapons are depends in good part on the type and quantity of explosives used.
The bomb caused no damage or injuries, but it was the first time such a device had been employed in weeks of clashes, the police said. The bomb contained a mobile phone, circuit board, battery and high-powered explosives.
On July 19, police arrested three people after raiding a home-made laboratory in a Texaco Road factory building in Tsuen Wan, seizing what was said to be the largest amount of deadly explosives ever discovered in Hong Kong. One of the three has been charged with possessing an explosive substance.
In Hong Kong, attempt to cause explosion, or making or keeping explosive with intent to endanger life or property carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
Demonstrations against Government have entered their 19th week, without no sign of stopping, violence escalates instead.
Violence meets definition of ‘terrorist acts’ according to local and international laws.
A “terrorist act” defined as an action that causes serious violence against a person, serious damage to property, endangers a person’s life, creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public, seriously interferes an electronic system, or seriously disrupts an essential service, facility or system.
‘We cannot tell the world Hong Kong grooms local terrorists’ says government source, with officials wary of devastating consequences label might cause
Once armed only with umbrellas to protect against rain and flying tear gas canisters, the demonstrators have more recently brandished bricks and sidewalk paving stones, as well as knives and gasoline bombs.
Tang Ping-keung, a deputy police commissioner, said that the force believed the device was intended to injure police officers.
“These people doing violent acts are not protesters. They are indeed rioters and criminals that are destroying our rule of law,” Mr. Tang said. “Whatever causes they claim they are fighting for can never justify such triad-like behavior,” he added, referring to organized crime groups.
Besides the attacks on police officers, extensive damage was done to transport facilities, with protesters also setting buildings on fire.
“Please refrain from any obstruction when our officers are carrying out their lawful duties. Please cut ties with these criminals and rioters, and please help us to bring Hong Kong back to the right track.”