A 19-year-old suspected triad member was fighting for his life in hospital last night after he was badly chopped in Ngau Tau Kok, the latest in what appears to be a spate of tit-for-tat attacks between two rival factions.
The ambush near his home was the third slashing attack in five days amid a dispute between the Tsim Sha Tsui and Tseung Kwan O factions of the Sun Yee On triad, according to a police source close to the investigation.
In an effort to thwart the escalating retaliatory actions, he said, police would raid entertainment venues allegedly controlled by the two gangs in East and West Kowloon.
"We will carry out licence checks on their premises, including bars and games centres, to deliver the message to their faction leaders that they have to discipline their followers, otherwise they will pay the price," the source said.
The latest victim was released from jail several months ago. At about 11pm on Thursday, four masked men set upon him outside a Tung Ming Street building where he lives with his parents.
"He was chopped in the back, arms and legs," a police spokeswoman said.
The four attackers, thought to be between 20 and 30 years old, fled before officers arrived.
Last night, the victim was in critical condition at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei.
He is understood to be a member of the Tseung Kwan O faction, whose leader is known as "Siu Kwan" in the underworld.
The source said it was an apparent revenge attack after this gang attacked two alleged members of the Tsim Sha Tsui faction, whose leader is nicknamed "Sai B", on Sunday and Tuesday.
During Sunday's attack, a 19-year-old man was in a taxi when the attackers' car intercepted him in Tseung Kwan O. On Tuesday, three masked men ambushed a 15-year-old boy in Kowloon Bay.
Officers yesterday arrested two suspected Sun Yee On members and recovered a stolen car. A senior police officer said it might have been used in another revenge attack soon. Last night, the two men, aged 41 and 42, were being held for questioning and had not been charged yet.