Hong Kong police say pistol among weapons seized ahead of protest

Hong Kong police chief Tang Ping-keung speaks to media after meetings with Chinese officials in Beijing on December 7, 2019. — AFP pic
Hong Kong police chief Tang Ping-keung speaks to media after meetings with Chinese officials in Beijing on December 7, 2019. — AFP pic

HONG KONG, Dec 8 — Hong Kong police today said they conducted raids ahead of a major pro-democracy rally and found weapons including a pistol and ammunition, the first firearm seizure linked to the protests.

The city is bracing itself for another huge march this afternoon as protesters try to keep pressure on the city’s pro-Beijing leadership as they push for greater democratic freedoms and police accountability.

Tomorrow marks the six month anniversary of the movement which has become increasingly violent as Beijing refuses concessions.

Hours before the march was due to start, police displayed weapons they said had been found during overnight raids at eleven locations.

The display included a Glock semi-automatic pistol with 105 rounds, a samurai sword, nine extendable batons, bottles of pepper spray and knives.

Eleven people were arrested, police added.

“We believe the group planned to use the weapons to incite chaos during the march later today and impugn the police,” senior superintendent Lee Kwai-Wa, from the city’s organised crime bureau, told reporters.

Lee said the raids were part of an intelligence-led operation tracking a group of protesters who threw petrol bombs at a police station in the district of Mongkok on 20 October. — AFP

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