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Polytechnic University in Hung Hom became a fiery battlefield on Monday, a day when police made a record high of at least 1,000 arrests, according to an insider. Photo: Sam Tsang

More than 8,000 petrol bombs primed for Hong Kong streets ‘found in weapons factory at Chinese University’

  • Stockpile was in Sha Tin campus of publicly funded university in Hong Kong, source says
  • City leader condemns campus ‘weapons factory’ as police source reveals 1,000 arrests made on Monday – highest tally in a day since protests erupted

More than 8,000 petrol bombs ready for use on Hong Kong’s streets have been found at Chinese University so far, a source has told the Post.

Meanwhile, a police insider said more than 1,000 people were arrested and registered on Monday - the highest daily tally since the protests erupted in June.

The firebombs discovery was revealed as Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor condemned a “weapons factory”, holding 2,000 bottles of flammable liquid, uncovered on a university campus that she did not identify.

A source familiar with the situation said the petrol bombs were found on the Sha Tin campus of the university, which was occupied by radicals during four days of clashes with police last week before their retreat.

The Post understands the university had contacted the Fire Services Department and reported the matter to police.

Police said on Tuesday that officers found more than 3,900 petrol bombs at the CUHK campus on Monday alone.

Lam said it was shocking a university campus had hosted a production line for the weapons.

“I know thousands of unused petrol bombs had been found in a university, with dangerous chemicals being stolen from laboratories,” she said.

A police insider said about 1,000 people were arrested on Monday, mostly in and around Polytechnic University, which has played host to scenes of violent protest over recent days, leading to a police siege of the campus.

Missing chemicals from universities spark fears over public safety

A few of the most hard-core protesters still remained at the site on Tuesday afternoon.

A carriage with chemical solutions for petrol bombs is left at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hung Hom. Photo: Dickson Lee

Are universities becoming ‘weapons factories’ as claimed by police?

Lam said they would use whatever means available to persuade the rest to leave, adding if there was a threat to life on the campus police had to take necessary action.

Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters gathered again at lunchtime in Central, the city’s business heartland.

But unlike previous days, anti-riot police intervened early to prevent them from blocking the roads.

Armed with shields and riot control weapons, dozens of officers took up a position on a footbridge nearby.

They quickly moved down to clear protesters in Pedder Street to the side of the road, where a crowd stayed to chant slogans, with some shouting at police.

A radical holds a petrol bomb during clashes with police outside PolyU on Sunday. Photo: Reuters

About 50 police officers guarded the junction of Pedder Street and Des Voeux Road Central from 1pm, repeatedly raising a blue flag to warn the assembly was illegal.

“If you don’t want to lose your promising future, leave immediately because you are in an illegal assembly, “ a police officer said.

Tensions rose at around 2pm when six police vans arrived. Two people were seen to be questioned by police and let go.

Sunny Wong, in her 20s, who stayed on the roadside on Pedder Street wearing a mask, said she was not afraid of riot police.

“Nowadays you can get caught by just walking on the street. We are jointly participating this movement, so I need to come out,” she said.

Police move quickly to shut down yet another lunchtime protest in Central on Tuesday. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

Police left Central to cheers at around 2.25pm, by which time most people had left the pavements where they had gathered.

Meanwhile, the Education Bureau announced that classes of primary, secondary and some special schools would resume on Wednesday, saying the road and traffic conditions had gradually become more stable.

But classes for kindergartens and schools for children with physical and intellectual disabilities would not resume classes until Monday, the bureau said.

It asked schools to keep their premises open and take proper care of students who arrived at school.