Three teens arrested after early morning firebomb attack on HK police station

02-Apr-2020 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Three students have been arrested after five petrol bombs were thrown into a police station in northern Hong Kong in the early hours of Wednesday, the third firebomb attack on the city’s force in the past 10 days.

The attack on Tai Po Police Station happened shortly before 2.30am, and was the second of its kind this week. On Monday, three petrol bombs were thrown into Happy Valley Police Station.

Officers used extinguishers to douse flames before firefighters arrived at the station on On Po Lane.

Three suspects were arrested after the attack on Tai Po Police Station. Photo: Handout.

Three suspects were arrested after the attack on Tai Po Police Station. Photo: Handout.

“Three of the petrol bombs were hurled into the car park of the station,” a police source said. “The other two landed near the gate at the entrance of the car park.”

Three black-clad suspects wearing masks and gloves were seen running from the scene of the attack.

At the time, officers from the Tai Po district’s task force were carrying out an anti-crime operation nearby. They intercepted two male suspects, both aged 18, near the station.

A sergeant was injured when the pair put up a struggle, and police said the two teenage boys were eventually subdued and arrested.

The third suspect, a 16-year-old boy, ran for more than 500 metres before being stopped by police on Yuen Shin Road.

All three are Form Four and Form Five students at the same secondary school in the district.

The source said he believed it was part of ongoing flash-mob attacks to “burn doghouses” across the city. Anti-government protesters use the term “doghouse” to refer to officers’ homes or police stations.

He said officers were investigating whether someone had put the teenagers up to the attack.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the suspects were being held for questioning and none of them had been charged.

According to police, no damage was done to vehicles parked at the station and no evacuation was needed.

It was the second attack of its kind in two days, and police are still searching for three suspects wanted in connection with the Happy Valley incident.

A week before, there was a similar firebomb attack at the police married quarters compound in Sheung Shui. In that incident, three petrol bombs were thrown into the car park, leaving two cars blackened.

Officers arrested a 62-year-old man outside the building in connection with the attack. It was the fourth of its kind at the same site in six weeks. No one was injured.

Security around police quarters has been enhanced since January, after a message which read “burn doghouse” was posted on Telegram, an app used by anti-government protesters.

On January 29 and 30, there were petrol bomb attacks on four police stations and a patrol car within 24 hours, in a wave of action apparently intended to force the government to completely close the city’s borders with the mainland, and supply more protective gear to residents in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The city has experienced months of protests sparked by the now-withdrawn extradition bill, which would have allowed the transfer of fugitives to jurisdictions with which it does not have existing agreements, including mainland China.

The protests, which began in June, have seen traffic lights destroyed, street fires set, police stations damaged and universities occupied. MTR facilities, shops and banks have also been vandalised. Protesters have also attacked police officers on the front lines, hurling petrol bombs and bricks.

Police have responded by firing more than 16,000 rounds of tear gas, 10,000 rubber bullets, 2,000 beanbag rounds and 19 live rounds.

So far, more than 7,000 people have been arrested for various protest-related offences, including rioting, arson and possessing explosives and firearms without a licence. According to police, two in five of those arrested were students, with more than 1,100 still in secondary school.



Category: Hong Kong

Print This Post