Crime in Hong Kong
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A protester uses a fire to light a petrol bomb during disturbances in September. Photo: AFP

Petrol bomb attack at Hong Kong police married quarters

  • Man arrested outside Sheung Shui compound in connection with the incident
  • It was the fourth such attack on the site in six weeks; no one was hurt

Three petrol bombs were hurled into a police married quarters compound in northern Hong Kong on Monday, leaving two cars blackened.

Officers arrested a 62-year-old local man outside Sheung Shui Police Married Quarters on Po Wing Road in connection with the firebombing, the fourth attack of its kind at the site in six weeks.

Emergency services were called in when the flaming projectiles were hurled into the car park of the staff quarters at about 1.50am. The fire burned out before firefighters arrived, and no one was hurt.

Police said the two vehicles were blackened in the incident, as well as the ground around them.

“Fragments from three petrol bombs were seized at the scene. There were suspicious circumstances in the cause of the fire,” police said. The case was classified as arson.

Officers arrested the 62-year-old, surnamed Wong, at the scene. His bike and a pair of gloves were found nearby.

As of Monday afternoon, the suspect was being held for questioning and had not been charged.

A police source said officers were also investigating whether the man was linked to the previous three cases, which happened between February 13 and March 8. No one was injured in those attacks, and no evacuation was needed, but two cars were also blackened in the first one.

Hong Kong police chief says some complaints against force substantiated

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 who use the term “doghouse” to refer to officers’ homes.

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 intended to force the government to completely close the city’s border with mainland China and supply more protective gear in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Hong Kong has experienced months of protests sparked by the now-withdrawn extradition bill, which would have allowed the transfer of fugitives to jurisdictions with which the city does not have existing agreements, including mainland China.

Since the protests began in June, radicals have destroyed traffic lights and set street fires, attacked police stations, vandalised MTR facilities, shops and banks, and occupied universities. They 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, possessing explosives and firearms without a licence, and arson.

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This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Man arrested after three petrol bombs thrown at police officers’ residence