A tour bus carrying Hong Kong and mainland passengers from Shenzhen to the city of Zhanjiang in Guangdong was waylaid and attacked by an armed gang yesterday. About 30 men armed with iron bars, wooden bats and knives jumped out of cars and attacked the vehicle, Xinhua reported. The operator immediately sent another bus, but this was also attacked when it arrived and sped off - without the passengers. Some passengers suffered minor injuries. The report did not say if any Hong Kong residents were hurt. While local police were still investigating the motive for the attack, sources said it was triggered by cut-throat competition among local bus operators. None of the passengers was robbed and the attacks were directed largely towards the vehicles, one source said. The incident happened at about 5am in the Chikan district of Zhanjiang when the 38-seat coach arriving from Shenzhen was intercepted by two minivans and two cars. The attackers smashed the bus windows, but the passengers - believed to number about 30 - managed to escape. After attacking the second bus, the gang then scattered before police arrived at the scene. Once order was restored, the bus operator was able to get the passengers to their destination. Last night police in Zhanjiang said they were still investigating the case and refused to comment. It was the latest in a series of such incidents carried out by armed gangs. In February, four long-distance coaches in Shenzhen were ambushed. The bus operator involved in that incident told police he believed the attack was planned by a business rival who had sent him a threatening note a few days earlier. In Hong Kong, the executive director of the Travel Industry Council, Joseph Tung Yao-chung, said the shuttle buses were popular but there was little the council could do to help ensure passenger safety.