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Kyle Sandilands, Tegan Kynaston: Radio star denies secret relationship

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Kyle Sandilands flew to Los Angeles over the weekend amid rumours he is ‘dating’ his personal assistant, Tegan Kynaston, following his split from longtime girlfriend Imogen Anthony.

The KIIS FM host, 48, was pictured arriving in LAX on Sunday morning, with a source telling Daily Mail Australia he was joined by Tegan, 33, on the flight, but the pair left the terminal separately. 

Kyle and Tegan had previously spent time together in the U.S. in late September, in the aftermath of his controversial Virgin Mary ‘joke’. 

Heading overseas: Kyle Sandilands flew to Los Angeles over the weekend following his split from longtime girlfriend Imogen Anthony. Pictured at LAX on Sunday

Heading overseas: Kyle Sandilands flew to Los Angeles over the weekend following his split from longtime girlfriend Imogen Anthony. Pictured at LAX on Sunday

Heading overseas: Kyle Sandilands flew to Los Angeles over the weekend following his split from longtime girlfriend Imogen Anthony. Pictured at LAX on Sunday

Kyle’s manager, Bruno Bouchet, refused to comment on the radio star’s whereabouts but confirmed he will continue host his Sydney breakfast show as normal until the end of the year.

‘As a security precaution, we don’t comment on Kyle’s specific location. I can, however, confirm that Kyle will continue to be on the air until the end of the radio ratings period in early December,’ said Mr Bouchet.

Kyle looked rather downcast after landing in LA and raced outside for a cigarette following the 17-hour flight.  

Ciggie break: The KIIS FM host, 48, was pictured arriving in LAX on Sunday morning

Ciggie break: The KIIS FM host, 48, was pictured arriving in LAX on Sunday morning

Ciggie break: The KIIS FM host, 48, was pictured arriving in LAX on Sunday morning

Work trip? Kyle was joined by his personal assistant, Tegan Kynaston, on the flight, but the pair left the terminal separately

Work trip? Kyle was joined by his personal assistant, Tegan Kynaston, on the flight, but the pair left the terminal separately

Work trip? Kyle was joined by his personal assistant, Tegan Kynaston, on the flight, but the pair left the terminal separately

Close: Kyle and Tegan had previously spent time together in the U.S. in late September, in the aftermath of his controversial Virgin Mary 'joke'. Pictured on September 26

Close: Kyle and Tegan had previously spent time together in the U.S. in late September, in the aftermath of his controversial Virgin Mary 'joke'. Pictured on September 26

Close: Kyle and Tegan had previously spent time together in the U.S. in late September, in the aftermath of his controversial Virgin Mary ‘joke’. Pictured on September 26

Tegan was nowhere to be seen, and appeared to be keeping her distance from Kyle.

Meanwhile, the shock jock didn’t look happy as he noticed paparazzi taking photos of him while waiting for his rental car. 

As Kyle landed in LA, Woman’s Day hit newsstands in Australia with a bombshell report claiming that he and Tegan are ‘in a relationship’.

An anonymous source told the magazine: ‘Kyle has fallen for his personal assistant, Tegan. Everyone in Kyle’s inner circle, including Imogen, has known about the relationship for a while, and given that Kyle and Imogen haven’t lived together for most of the past year, I’m surprised the news hasn’t come out before this.’ 

Another insider claimed: ‘It’s become increasingly serious. Kyle endorsed Tegan’s brother’s wine company, Nueva Sangria, to help out the family in June, and when Kyle was with Tegan in LA in September, they were clearly a couple. It’s no secret to anyone in the inner circle.’

However, Kyle’s manager has strenuously denied the claims, describing the story as ‘garbage’, ‘hurtful’ and a ‘fabrication’. 

‘It’s utterly ridiculous that Woman’s Day would fabricate this report,’ he said.

Claims: As Kyle landed in LA, Woman's Day hit newsstands in Australia with a bombshell report claiming that Kyle and Tegan are 'in a relationship'. The radio star's manager, Bruno Bouchet, has since described the article as 'garbage', 'hurtful' and a 'fabrication'

Claims: As Kyle landed in LA, Woman's Day hit newsstands in Australia with a bombshell report claiming that Kyle and Tegan are 'in a relationship'. The radio star's manager, Bruno Bouchet, has since described the article as 'garbage', 'hurtful' and a 'fabrication'

Claims: As Kyle landed in LA, Woman’s Day hit newsstands in Australia with a bombshell report claiming that Kyle and Tegan are ‘in a relationship’. The radio star’s manager, Bruno Bouchet, has since described the article as ‘garbage’, ‘hurtful’ and a ‘fabrication’

‘By now, I doubt most Australians are gullible enough to believe anything Woman’s Day publishes, especially stories based on unnamed “insiders”. As well as the claims being wrong, they’re also incredibly hurtful to everyone involved.

‘If you’d like further proof that this story is garbage – which is highly insulting to garbage – I’d point out that Woman’s Day didn’t reach out to us for comment. I presume this is because they knew they were making things up and didn’t want to the truth to contradict them.’

Kyle last returned from LA on October 7, after spending several weeks there with Tegan amid the controversy surrounding his Virgin Mary ‘joke’. During that trip, the pair were pictured together having breakfast at a café in West Hollywood. 

Meanwhile, New Idea reported on Monday that Kyle and Imogen’s split was due to his ‘reluctance to make a commitment’ to girlfriend of eight years. 

‘Imogen has desperately wanted to get married and have kids for quite some time now, but unfortunately Kyle wasn’t ready,’ a source told the publication.

Kyle unexpectedly announced his split from Imogen, 28, live on The Kyle and Jackie O Show last Tuesday. 

‘A lot of people have been hitting us up on social media, a few phone calls, some media inquiries about my relationship status,’ Kyle said on air.

‘We [Imogen and I] haven’t been living with each other for quite a few months now. Unfortunately it’s just run its course.’

‘Unfortunately it’s just run its course’: Last Tuesday, Kyle stunned listeners by announcing his split from longterm girlfriend, Imogen Anthony. Pictured: Kyle on Friday in Sydney

On Friday, Imogen broke her silence on their split in an emotional Instagram video filmed at the former couple’s $2.9million farm in the Southern Highlands.  

‘We have a lot to deal with separately,’ Imogen said. ‘It’s probably been one of the hardest years of our lives, separately.

‘I’ve got so much family stuff, and there’s so much health stuff involved between us.

‘We just kind of want to… get each other, get ourselves into the best form of ourselves we can be, without kind of just p**ing in each other’s pockets.

‘We still love each other very much, we speak every day. We still see each other, we deal with things with each other.’ 

Imogen, who first met Kyle when she was just 20 years old, is being supported by family and friends at the country estate.  

''It's probably been one of the hardest years of our lives, separately': On Friday afternoon, Imogen Anthony (pictured), 28, broke her silence about their split in an emotional video

''It's probably been one of the hardest years of our lives, separately': On Friday afternoon, Imogen Anthony (pictured), 28, broke her silence about their split in an emotional video

”It’s probably been one of the hardest years of our lives, separately’: On Friday afternoon, Imogen Anthony (pictured), 28, broke her silence about their split in an emotional video

'We still love each other very much, we speak every day. We still see each other, we deal with things with each other,' said Imogen on Friday

'We still love each other very much, we speak every day. We still see each other, we deal with things with each other,' said Imogen on Friday

‘We still love each other very much, we speak every day. We still see each other, we deal with things with each other,’ said Imogen on Friday 

Low profile: Imogen is staying at the couple’s $2.9m farm (pictured) in the Southern Highlands

Low profile: Imogen is staying at the couple’s $2.9m farm (pictured) in the Southern Highlands

Low profile: Imogen is staying at the couple’s $2.9m farm (pictured) in the Southern Highlands

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Fears of further bloodshed in Iran as Supreme Leader brands protesters ‘thugs’

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Iran‘s supreme leader has described protesters who took to the streets at the weekend over petrol price hikes as ‘thugs’, raising fears of an escalation in violence.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also backed the government’s decision to raise prices, saying the protesters had been pushed into violence by counterrevolutionaries and foreign enemies of Iran.

Hours after the Ayatollah spoke in a televised address, foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi attacked the US for expressing support for ‘a group of rioters’.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei cautiously backed the government's plan to raise fuel prices by 50 per cent while attacking protesters as 'thugs', raising fears of more bloodshed

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei cautiously backed the government's plan to raise fuel prices by 50 per cent while attacking protesters as 'thugs', raising fears of more bloodshed

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei cautiously backed the government’s plan to raise fuel prices by 50 per cent while attacking protesters as ‘thugs’, raising fears of more bloodshed

Demonstrators blocked roads, burned buildings and clashed with police across the country at the weekend after the fuel price hikes were announced

Demonstrators blocked roads, burned buildings and clashed with police across the country at the weekend after the fuel price hikes were announced

Demonstrators blocked roads, burned buildings and clashed with police across the country at the weekend after the fuel price hikes were announced 

In a tweet on Saturday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said to the demonstrators that ‘the United States is with you’. 

‘The dignified people of Iran know well that such hypocritical remarks do not carry any honest sympathy,’ Mousavi was quoted as saying.

‘The acts of a rioter and saboteur group supported by the likes of (Pompeo) have no congruity with the conduct of the wise Iranian people.’

The statement blasted Washington’s ‘ill-intent’ over its decision to reimpose sanctions on Tehran after the US withdrawal in May last year from the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

‘It’s curious that the sympathising is being done with the people who are under the pressure of America’s economic terrorism,’ Mousavi said.

Protests erupted in Iran on Friday, hours after it was announced the price of petrol would rise to 15,000 rials a litre (12 US cents) from 10,000 for the first 60 litres and to 30,000 rials for any extra fuel bought after that each month.  

The government shut down internet access across the nation of 80 million people to staunch demonstrations that took place in a reported 100 cities and towns. 

That made it increasingly difficult to gauge whether unrest continued. 

Images published by state and semiofficial media showed the scale of the damage in images of burned gas stations and banks, torched vehicles and roadways littered with debris.

Since the price hike, demonstrators have abandoned cars along major highways and joined mass protests in the capital, Tehran, and elsewhere. 

Some protests turned violent, with demonstrators setting fires as gunfire rang out.

According to the National Council of Resistance of Iran, dozens of people have been killed in the protests, though this figure could not be independently verified.

A scorched branch of Iranian Pasargad bank that was set ablaze by protesters during a demonstration against a rise in gasoline prices in Eslamshahr, near Tehran

A scorched branch of Iranian Pasargad bank that was set ablaze by protesters during a demonstration against a rise in gasoline prices in Eslamshahr, near Tehran

A scorched branch of Iranian Pasargad bank that was set ablaze by protesters during a demonstration against a rise in gasoline prices in Eslamshahr, near Tehran

Iranian authorities put the death toll at three people, including a police officer killed in attacks by protesters in the western city of Kermanshah on Saturday. 

In an address aired Sunday by state television, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said ‘some lost their lives and some places were destroyed,’ without elaborating. 

He called the protesters ‘thugs’ who had been pushed into violence by counterrevolutionaries and foreign enemies of Iran.

Khamenei specifically named those aligned with the family of Iran’s late shah, ousted 40 years ago, and an exile group called the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq. 

The MEK calls for the overthrow of Iran’s government and enjoys the support of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

‘Setting a bank on fire is not an act done by the people. This is what thugs do,’ Khamenei said.

The supreme leader carefully backed the decision of Iran’s relatively moderate President Hassan Rouhani and others to raise gasoline prices. 

While Khamenei dictates the country’s nuclear policy amid tensions with the U.S. over its unravelling 2015 accord with world powers, he made a point to say he wasn’t an ‘expert’ on the gasoline subsidies.

Khamenei ordered security forces ‘to implement their tasks’ and for Iran’s citizens to keep clear of violent demonstrators.

Iran’s Intelligence Ministry said the ‘key perpetrators of the past two days’ riot have been identified and proper action is ongoing.’

That seemed to indicate a crackdown could be looming. Economic protests in late 2017 into 2018, as well as those surrounding its disputed 2009 presidential election, were met with a heavy reaction by the police and the Basij, the all-volunteer force of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.

The semiofficial Fars news agency, close to the Guard, put the total number of protesters at over 87,000, saying demonstrators ransacked some 100 banks and stores in the country. 

Authorities arrested some 1,000 people, Fars reported, citing unnamed security officials for the information.

The protests have put renewed pressure on Iran’s government as it struggles to overcome the U.S. sanctions that have strangled the economy since Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the nuclear deal over a year ago.

While representing a political risk for Rouhani ahead of February parliamentary elections, the demonstrations also show widespread anger among the Iranian people, who have seen their savings evaporate amid scarce jobs and the collapse of the national currency, the rial.

Cheap gasoline is practically considered a birthright in Iran, home to the world’s fourth-largest crude oil reserves despite decades of economic woes since its 1979 Islamic Revolution. 

Gasoline in the country remains among the cheapest in the world, with the new prices jumping 50% to a minimum of 15,000 rials per liter. That’s 13 cents a liter, or about 50 cents a gallon. 

Iran's foreign ministry also blasted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for backing the protesters, describing them as 'rioters' (pictured, a burned building in the city of Isfahan)

Iran's foreign ministry also blasted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for backing the protesters, describing them as 'rioters' (pictured, a burned building in the city of Isfahan)

Iran’s foreign ministry also blasted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for backing the protesters, describing them as ‘rioters’ (pictured, a burned building in the city of Isfahan)

Iranians gather around a charred police station that was set ablaze by protesters during a demonstration against a rise in gasoline prices in the central city of Isfahan

Iranians gather around a charred police station that was set ablaze by protesters during a demonstration against a rise in gasoline prices in the central city of Isfahan

Iranians gather around a charred police station that was set ablaze by protesters during a demonstration against a rise in gasoline prices in the central city of Isfahan

A gallon of regular gasoline in the U.S. costs $2.60 by comparison.

Iranian internet access saw disruptions and outages Friday night into Saturday, according to the group NetBlocks, which monitors worldwide internet access. 

By Saturday night, connectivity had fallen to just 7% of ordinary levels. It was mostly unchanged on Sunday.

NetBlocks called it the most severe shutdown the group had tracked in any country ‘in terms of its technical complexity and breadth.’ 

On Twitter, NetBlocks said the disruption constituted ‘a severe violation’ of Iranians’ ‘basic rights and liberties.’

The internet firm Oracle called it ‘the largest internet shutdown ever observed in Iran.’

The semiofficial ISNA news agency reported Sunday that Iran’s Supreme National Security Council ordered a ‘restriction of access’ to the internet nationwide, without elaborating.

In a statement issued Sunday, the Trump administration condemned ‘the lethal force and severe communications restrictions used against demonstrators.’

‘Tehran has fanatically pursued nuclear weapons and missile programs, and supported terrorism, turning a proud nation into another cautionary tale of what happens when a ruling class abandons its people and embarks on a crusade for personal power and riches,’ the White House statement said.

In Dubai, the new U.S. ambassador to the United Arab Emirates told The Associated Press that America was ‘not advocating regime change. We are going to let the Iranian people decide for themselves their future.’

‘They are frustrated. They want freedom,’ Ambassador John Rakolta said at the Dubai Airshow. 

‘These developments that you see right now are their own people telling them, `We need change and to sit down with the American government.” 

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Riot police fire tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters holed up in Hong Kong university

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Shocking footage shows the moment anti-government protesters hurling petrol bombs alight and causing a police truck to burst into flames in Hong Kong. 

Rioters are seen throwing petrol bombs at a flyover near Hong Kong Polytechnic University where they held an all-night stand off with authorities. 

The police truck is then seen retreating as the protesters are positioned behind a make-shift fort with their faces covered.  

Hundreds of defiant protesters inside Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University had faced off against a police water cannon and armoured vehicles in raging battles that lasted an entire day and through the night. 

Riot officers finally entered before dawn on Monday and fiery explosions could be seen inside as protesters retreated. 

As riot police moved in from all sides, some protesters retreated inside the university while others set fires on bridges leading to it.

A staircase leading to the university was set ablaze as hundreds fled inside the campus as police stormed in.   

Shocking footage shows the moment anti-government protesters hurling mortar bombs alight and causing a police truck to burst into flames in Hong Kong

Shocking footage shows the moment anti-government protesters hurling mortar bombs alight and causing a police truck to burst into flames in Hong Kong

Shocking footage shows the moment anti-government protesters hurling mortar bombs alight and causing a police truck to burst into flames in Hong Kong

Rioters are seen throwing petrol bombs at a flyover near Hong Kong Polytechnic University where they held an all-night stand off with authorities

Rioters are seen throwing petrol bombs at a flyover near Hong Kong Polytechnic University where they held an all-night stand off with authorities

Rioters are seen throwing petrol bombs at a flyover near Hong Kong Polytechnic University where they held an all-night stand off with authorities

Rioters are seen throwing petrol bombs at a flyover near Hong Kong Polytechnic University where they held an all-night stand off with authorities

Rioters are seen throwing petrol bombs at a flyover near Hong Kong Polytechnic University where they held an all-night stand off with authorities

The police truck is then seen retreating as the protesters are positioned behind a make-shift fort with their faces covered

The police truck is then seen retreating as the protesters are positioned behind a make-shift fort with their faces covered

The police truck is then seen retreating as the protesters are positioned behind a make-shift fort with their faces covered

Flames rise from a large fire started by anti-government protesters in a staircase at the main entrance that leads into the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in the Hung Hom district of Hong Kong

Flames rise from a large fire started by anti-government protesters in a staircase at the main entrance that leads into the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in the Hung Hom district of Hong Kong

Flames rise from a large fire started by anti-government protesters in a staircase at the main entrance that leads into the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in the Hung Hom district of Hong Kong

Anti-government protesters start a large fire in a staircase at the main entrance that leads into the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Anti-government protesters start a large fire in a staircase at the main entrance that leads into the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Anti-government protesters start a large fire in a staircase at the main entrance that leads into the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

A fire is seen at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) during an anti-government protest in Hong Kong. Protesters set fires as police stormed the university

A fire is seen at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) during an anti-government protest in Hong Kong. Protesters set fires as police stormed the university

A fire is seen at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) during an anti-government protest in Hong Kong. Protesters set fires as police stormed the university

A riot police vehicle is set on fire during clashes outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong, as police looked to storm the campus

A riot police vehicle is set on fire during clashes outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong, as police looked to storm the campus

A riot police vehicle is set on fire during clashes outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong, as police looked to storm the campus

An anti-government protester sets fire to the entrance to Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) to stop police from getting inside

An anti-government protester sets fire to the entrance to Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) to stop police from getting inside

An anti-government protester sets fire to the entrance to Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) to stop police from getting inside

Anti-government protesters had barricaded themselves inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University for days, fighting back with petrol bombs and bows and arrows

Anti-government protesters had barricaded themselves inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University for days, fighting back with petrol bombs and bows and arrows

Anti-government protesters had barricaded themselves inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University for days, fighting back with petrol bombs and bows and arrows

A policeman in riot gear detains a protester outside of Hong Kong Polytechnic University as police storm the campus in Hong Kong

A policeman in riot gear detains a protester outside of Hong Kong Polytechnic University as police storm the campus in Hong Kong

A policeman in riot gear detains a protester outside of Hong Kong Polytechnic University as police storm the campus in Hong Kong

A huge blaze burned along much of a long footbridge that connects a train station to the campus over the approach to the Cross-Harbour Tunnel

A huge blaze burned along much of a long footbridge that connects a train station to the campus over the approach to the Cross-Harbour Tunnel

A huge blaze burned along much of a long footbridge that connects a train station to the campus over the approach to the Cross-Harbour Tunnel

First aiders provide treatment to an injured person during clashes at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong today

First aiders provide treatment to an injured person during clashes at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong today

First aiders provide treatment to an injured person during clashes at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong today

Anti-government protesters watch as a large fire is started by other protesters in a staircase at the main entrance that leads into the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Anti-government protesters watch as a large fire is started by other protesters in a staircase at the main entrance that leads into the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Anti-government protesters watch as a large fire is started by other protesters in a staircase at the main entrance that leads into the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Police in riot gear prepare to fire as they move into the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong, early Monday

Police in riot gear prepare to fire as they move into the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong, early Monday

Police in riot gear prepare to fire as they move into the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong, early Monday

Police fire tear gas at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong, following days of fierce, bitter clashes

Police fire tear gas at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong, following days of fierce, bitter clashes

Police fire tear gas at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong, following days of fierce, bitter clashes

Scores of protesters were injured during the clashes, some with scalding burns from chemicals in the jets fired from the water cannon.

The protesters at Polytechnic University had blocked one of Hong Kong’s major highways, the Cross Harbour Tunnel linking Hong Kong island to the Kowloon peninsula for much of the past week, with authorities desperate to restore the link yet encountering tenacious resistance from the trapped activists.

As police approached the barricaded front gate of the university in the predawn hours, protesters retreated into the university while starting huge fires at the gate as well as on a footbridge.

The campus was a flurry of uncertainty and activity on Monday morning. Some protesters discussed trying to leave, while others carried boxes of petrol bombs to positions around the complex.

Thousands of residents and protesters flocked overnight to various districts around the university including Tsim Sha Tsui, Jordan and Yau Ma Tei, to try to penetrate the riot-police lines to rescue the trapped students.

Protesters are sprayed with water from water cannon during clashes with police outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong

Protesters are sprayed with water from water cannon during clashes with police outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong

Protesters are sprayed with water from water cannon during clashes with police outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong

Umbrellas, bricks and a molotov cocktail are seen on a railing at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University following the clashes

Umbrellas, bricks and a molotov cocktail are seen on a railing at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University following the clashes

Umbrellas, bricks and a molotov cocktail are seen on a railing at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University following the clashes

An injured protester is comforted by a member of the press at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong

An injured protester is comforted by a member of the press at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong

An injured protester is comforted by a member of the press at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong

Police fire a water cannon during clashes with anti-government protesters outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong

Police fire a water cannon during clashes with anti-government protesters outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong

Police fire a water cannon during clashes with anti-government protesters outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong

‘If we can only hold on till dawn, more might come,’ said one young activist in the university who was close to exhaustion.

The use of bows and arrows and catapult-launched gasoline bombs threatened to escalate the violence in the more than five-month anti-government movement.

Earlier, Hong Kong police said they may use ‘live rounds’ if officers continue to face protesters wielding ‘deadly weapons’, the first time in a near-sixth month crisis they have issued the stark warning.

A Hong Kong police officer was hit by an arrow as authorities used tear gas and water cannons to try to drive back protesters occupying a university campus as well as the surrounding streets.

Violent clashes between demonstrators and police began yesterday and continued into today as arrows and petrol bombs were launched at riot cops from huge catapults.

A group of demonstrators set fire to barricades and blocked the entrance to the Cross Harbour Tunnel as the pro-democracy protests continued.

During a stand-off with protesters, police said an arrow struck a press officer, who was taken to a hospital. Photos on the department’s Facebook page show the arrow sticking out of the back of the officer’s lower leg.

Louis Lau, a police spokesman said during a Facebook live broadcast: ‘If they [protesters] continue such dangerous actions, we would have no choice but to use minimum force, including live rounds.’

Three protesters have been shot during the protests so far – but without such warnings.   

Protesters blocked a bridge above the entrance to the Cross Harbour Tunnel during clashes with police outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University today

Protesters blocked a bridge above the entrance to the Cross Harbour Tunnel during clashes with police outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University today

Protesters blocked a bridge above the entrance to the Cross Harbour Tunnel during clashes with police outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University today

A protester throwing an object over a barricade on the bridge above the Cross Harbour Tunnel during clashes with police

A protester throwing an object over a barricade on the bridge above the Cross Harbour Tunnel during clashes with police

A protester throwing an object over a barricade on the bridge above the Cross Harbour Tunnel during clashes with police

Fire erupts as pro-democracy protesters clash with police on a bridge outside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Demonstrators set fire to a barricade to block the Cross Harbour crossing

Fire erupts as pro-democracy protesters clash with police on a bridge outside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Demonstrators set fire to a barricade to block the Cross Harbour crossing

Fire erupts as pro-democracy protesters clash with police on a bridge outside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Demonstrators set fire to a barricade to block the Cross Harbour crossing 

Protesters watch as a fire burns during a confrontation with police at Hong Kong Polytechnic University as a bridge was blocked by fire

Protesters watch as a fire burns during a confrontation with police at Hong Kong Polytechnic University as a bridge was blocked by fire

Protesters watch as a fire burns during a confrontation with police at Hong Kong Polytechnic University as a bridge was blocked by fire

Some demonstrators used a catapult to fire bricks and petrol bombs at the police from inside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University today

Some demonstrators used a catapult to fire bricks and petrol bombs at the police from inside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University today

Some demonstrators used a catapult to fire bricks and petrol bombs at the police from inside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University today

A protester prepares to fire an arrow during a confrontation with police at Hong Kong Polytechnic University today. A police officer was struck in the leg from an arrow fired by an unknown demonstrator 

A police officer's lower leg has been pierced with an arrow during a confrontation with protesters at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University today

A police officer's lower leg has been pierced with an arrow during a confrontation with protesters at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University today

A police officer’s lower leg has been pierced with an arrow during a confrontation with protesters at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University today

Hong Kong Police Department released images of the media liaison officer's leg with a arrow sticking out of it after he was struck during clashes with protesters

Hong Kong Police Department released images of the media liaison officer's leg with a arrow sticking out of it after he was struck during clashes with protesters

Hong Kong Police Department released images of the media liaison officer’s leg with a arrow sticking out of it after he was struck during clashes with protesters 

An anti-government protester throws a molotov cocktail during clashes with police today as violence continued in the city

An anti-government protester throws a molotov cocktail during clashes with police today as violence continued in the city

An anti-government protester throws a molotov cocktail during clashes with police today as violence continued in the city

Water cannon trucks drove over bricks and nails left by protesters and sprayed them at close range in a bid to drive them away on the streets outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

The push came in an hours-long stand-off that followed intense clashes the previous night.

A large group of people arrived in the morning to try to clean up the road, but were warned away by protesters. 

Riot police lined up a few hundred metres away and shot tear gas at the protesters, who sheltered behind a wall of umbrellas across an entire street and threw petrol bombs into nearby bushes and trees, setting them on fire.

The water cannons arrived in the early afternoon, one using blue-dyed water to drench the protesters.

Today protesters shut down a main street in Hong Kong’s Mongkok district, as police fired tear gas to try to disperse them.

Bricks were strewn along part of Nathan Road, a wide thoroughfare lined with shops on the city’s Kowloon peninsula.

The Sunday afternoon traffic disruption appeared to be a diversionary tactic as other protesters faced down police tear gas and water cannons in a daylong standoff outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Protesters have taken over the streets in Mongkok every night recently, but usually only after nightfall.

The daytime face-off came after a battle at night in which the two sides exchanged tear gas and petrol bombs that left fires blazing in the street. 

Many protesters retreated inside the Polytechnic campus, where they have barricaded entrances and set up narrow access control points. 

A protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask standing on the bridge above the Cross Harbour Tunnel during clashes with police outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University today

A protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask standing on the bridge above the Cross Harbour Tunnel during clashes with police outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University today

A protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask standing on the bridge above the Cross Harbour Tunnel during clashes with police outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University today 

A protester moving a burning barricade during clashes with police outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University today

A protester moving a burning barricade during clashes with police outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University today

A protester moving a burning barricade during clashes with police outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University today

Police in riot gear fire tear gas during a confrontation with protesters at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University today

Police in riot gear fire tear gas during a confrontation with protesters at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University today

Police in riot gear fire tear gas during a confrontation with protesters at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University today

Protesters using a catapult to fire bricks at the police from inside the university campus during violent clashes today

Protesters using a catapult to fire bricks at the police from inside the university campus during violent clashes today

Protesters using a catapult to fire bricks at the police from inside the university campus during violent clashes today

Police use a water cannon outside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University to disperse protesters in Hong Kong today

Police use a water cannon outside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University to disperse protesters in Hong Kong today

Police use a water cannon outside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University to disperse protesters in Hong Kong today 

Demonstrators used umbrellas to try and shield themselves from water cannons being fired from police trucks as protesters occupied the university

Demonstrators used umbrellas to try and shield themselves from water cannons being fired from police trucks as protesters occupied the university

Demonstrators used umbrellas to try and shield themselves from water cannons being fired from police trucks as protesters occupied the university 

A protester wearing a gas mask and holding a molotov cocktail, seen hiding behind a makeshift shield during clashes with police today

A protester wearing a gas mask and holding a molotov cocktail, seen hiding behind a makeshift shield during clashes with police today

A protester wearing a gas mask and holding a molotov cocktail, seen hiding behind a makeshift shield during clashes with police today 

Many demonstrators were seen using umbrellas to try and shield themselves from the tear gas and water cannons fired by police into the crowds

Many demonstrators were seen using umbrellas to try and shield themselves from the tear gas and water cannons fired by police into the crowds

Many demonstrators were seen using umbrellas to try and shield themselves from the tear gas and water cannons fired by police into the crowds

A protester injured by a tear gas canister is helped by paramedics at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University on Sunday

A protester injured by a tear gas canister is helped by paramedics at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University on Sunday

A protester injured by a tear gas canister is helped by paramedics at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University on Sunday

Protesters largely retreated from occupations of several major campuses last week, except for a contingent at Hong Kong Polytechnic.

That group is also blocking access to the nearby Cross-Harbour Tunnel, one of the three main road tunnels that link Hong Kong Island with the rest of the city.  

Opposition politicians criticised the Chinese military late on Saturday for joining a clean-up to remove debris from streets near Hong Kong Baptist University.

Dozens of Chinese troops, dressed in shorts and T-shirts, ran out in loose formation and picked up paving stones, rocks and other obstacles that had cluttered the street.

Yesterday police fired tear gas during clashes outside Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University, just hours after Chinese soldiers made a rare appearance to help clean up the city’s streets.

China‘s People’s Liberation Army soldiers in shorts and t-shirts made a surprising appearance on the streets of Hong Kong today, helping residents clean up debris and barricades after anti-government protests blocked roads.

The presence of PLA troops on the streets, even to help clean up, could stoke further controversy over the Chinese-ruled territory’s autonomous status.

A city spokesman said the Hong Kong government did not request assistance from the PLA but the military initiated the operation as a ‘voluntary community activity’.

Police in riot gear holding shields, batons and tear gas launchers as protesters throw molotov cocktails at officers

Police in riot gear holding shields, batons and tear gas launchers as protesters throw molotov cocktails at officers

Police in riot gear holding shields, batons and tear gas launchers as protesters throw molotov cocktails at officers

Protestors hold up their hand symbolising the five demands of pro-democracy demonstrators as they gather at Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Protestors hold up their hand symbolising the five demands of pro-democracy demonstrators as they gather at Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Protestors hold up their hand symbolising the five demands of pro-democracy demonstrators as they gather at Hong Kong Polytechnic University

A journalist running past a fire from a molotov cocktail thrown by protesters after police fired tear gas outside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

A journalist running past a fire from a molotov cocktail thrown by protesters after police fired tear gas outside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

A journalist running past a fire from a molotov cocktail thrown by protesters after police fired tear gas outside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Riot police officers fire their weapons during clashes with protesters outside the campus today as clashes continued

Riot police officers fire their weapons during clashes with protesters outside the campus today as clashes continued

Riot police officers fire their weapons during clashes with protesters outside the campus today as clashes continued

Protesters holding American and British flags during a confrontation with police near the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Protesters holding American and British flags during a confrontation with police near the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Protesters holding American and British flags during a confrontation with police near the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Protesters threw missiles at police as tear gas and water cannon were used to try and disperse the crowds that had gathered

Protesters threw missiles at police as tear gas and water cannon were used to try and disperse the crowds that had gathered

Protesters threw missiles at police as tear gas and water cannon were used to try and disperse the crowds that had gathered

A protester on the ground as police fire tear gas during a confrontation between the two side at Hong Kong Polytechnic University today

A protester on the ground as police fire tear gas during a confrontation between the two side at Hong Kong Polytechnic University today

A protester on the ground as police fire tear gas during a confrontation between the two side at Hong Kong Polytechnic University today 

A protester holding an umbrella crouches amid brick obstacles after police fired tear gas outside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

A protester holding an umbrella crouches amid brick obstacles after police fired tear gas outside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

A protester holding an umbrella crouches amid brick obstacles after police fired tear gas outside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

The military is allowed to help maintain public order, but only at the request of the Hong Kong government. The government said that it had not requested the military’s assistance, describing it as a voluntary community activity.

The Education Bureau announced that school classes would be suspended again on Monday because of safety concerns.

The city’s anti-government protests have been raging for more than five months.

They were sparked by a government decision to submit legislation that would have allowed the extradition of criminal suspects to the mainland. Activists saw it as an erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy under the ‘one country, two systems’ formula implemented in 1997, when the UK returned the territory to China.

The bill has been withdrawn, but the protests have expanded into a wider resistance movement against what is perceived as the growing control of Hong Kong by China, along with calls for full democracy for the territory.

Pro-democracy protesters during clashes with police outside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Hong Kong enters its sixth month of mass protest

Pro-democracy protesters during clashes with police outside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Hong Kong enters its sixth month of mass protest

Pro-democracy protesters during clashes with police outside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Hong Kong enters its sixth month of mass protest

Riot police officers standing during clashes with protesters today. China's President Xi Jinping warned on November 14 that protests in Hong Kong threaten the 'one country, two systems' principle governing the semi-autonomous cit

Riot police officers standing during clashes with protesters today. China's President Xi Jinping warned on November 14 that protests in Hong Kong threaten the 'one country, two systems' principle governing the semi-autonomous cit

Riot police officers standing during clashes with protesters today. China’s President Xi Jinping warned on November 14 that protests in Hong Kong threaten the ‘one country, two systems’ principle governing the semi-autonomous cit

Pro-democracy protesters getting doused with water during clashes with police in streets outside the university campus

Pro-democracy protesters getting doused with water during clashes with police in streets outside the university campus

Pro-democracy protesters getting doused with water during clashes with police in streets outside the university campus

Fire fighters try to extinguish a fire on the barricades in the main road next to the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong in Hung Hom district of Hong Kong

Fire fighters try to extinguish a fire on the barricades in the main road next to the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong in Hung Hom district of Hong Kong

Fire fighters try to extinguish a fire on the barricades in the main road next to the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong in Hung Hom district of Hong Kong

Debris left by protesters litters a road leading to the out-of-use Cross Harbour Tunnel, near the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Debris left by protesters litters a road leading to the out-of-use Cross Harbour Tunnel, near the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Debris left by protesters litters a road leading to the out-of-use Cross Harbour Tunnel, near the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Anti-government protesters clash with police. A protester wearing a mask can be seen in front of a cloud of smoke as bricks litter the street

Anti-government protesters clash with police. A protester wearing a mask can be seen in front of a cloud of smoke as bricks litter the street

 Anti-government protesters clash with police. A protester wearing a mask can be seen in front of a cloud of smoke as bricks litter the street

A pro-democracy protester stands on barricades outside the Polytechnic University, in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is in its sixth month of mass protests

A pro-democracy protester stands on barricades outside the Polytechnic University, in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is in its sixth month of mass protests

A pro-democracy protester stands on barricades outside the Polytechnic University, in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is in its sixth month of mass protests

Arrows and an archery target are seen in the water of a swimming pool. The pool has a layer of oil caused by protesters throwing molotov cocktail fire bombs into it as practice

Arrows and an archery target are seen in the water of a swimming pool. The pool has a layer of oil caused by protesters throwing molotov cocktail fire bombs into it as practice

Arrows and an archery target are seen in the water of a swimming pool. The pool has a layer of oil caused by protesters throwing molotov cocktail fire bombs into it as practice

A protester wielding a bow and arrow walks along a footbridge roof. Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule under a 'one country, two systems' formula guaranteeing its colonial-era freedoms. Protesters' demands include full democracy and an independent investigation into perceived police brutality

A protester wielding a bow and arrow walks along a footbridge roof. Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule under a 'one country, two systems' formula guaranteeing its colonial-era freedoms. Protesters' demands include full democracy and an independent investigation into perceived police brutality

A protester wielding a bow and arrow walks along a footbridge roof. Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule under a ‘one country, two systems’ formula guaranteeing its colonial-era freedoms. Protesters’ demands include full democracy and an independent investigation into perceived police brutality

Riot police brandishing shields face protesters head-on in Hong Kong.

Riot police brandishing shields face protesters head-on in Hong Kong.

Riot police brandishing shields face protesters head-on in Hong Kong. President Xi Jinping has repeatedly said he has confidence in the Hong Kong government restoring order

Protesters stand by ahead of a clash with police. A sign for the Hong Kong Poytechnic University is clearly visible behind rows of umbrellas

Protesters stand by ahead of a clash with police. A sign for the Hong Kong Poytechnic University is clearly visible behind rows of umbrellas

Protesters stand by ahead of a clash with police. A sign for the Hong Kong Poytechnic University is clearly visible behind rows of umbrellas

Fires can be seen in the road. Protesters stand against a wall as the chaos ensues. One holds a sign reading: 'Disperse or we fire'

Fires can be seen in the road. Protesters stand against a wall as the chaos ensues. One holds a sign reading: 'Disperse or we fire'

Fires can be seen in the road. Protesters stand against a wall as the chaos ensues. One holds a sign reading: ‘Disperse or we fire’

A pro-democracy protester rests at the university. He wears a hard hat and a gas mask to protect himself in the clashes

A pro-democracy protester rests at the university. He wears a hard hat and a gas mask to protect himself in the clashes

A pro-democracy protester rests at the university. He wears a hard hat and a gas mask to protect himself in the clashes

Protesters in gas masks wearing all black are seen during today's clashes. Fires rage in the background during the confrontation

Protesters in gas masks wearing all black are seen during today's clashes. Fires rage in the background during the confrontation

Protesters in gas masks wearing all black are seen during today’s clashes. Fires rage in the background during the confrontation

Up to 12,000 soldiers are now believed to be based across Hong Kong – more than double the usual garrison number, foreign envoys and security analysts estimate.

Hong Kong has been rocked by more than five months of demonstrations by protesters angry at perceived Communist Party meddling in the former British colony, which was guaranteed its freedoms when it returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Beijing denies interfering and has blamed the unrest on foreign influences.

In October, Chinese soldiers issued a warning to Hong Kong protesters who shone lasers at their barracks in the city, in the first direct interaction between mainland military forces and protesters. 

Protesters wearing black hoodies with their faces covered carry bows and arrows along a bridge. One appears to have a walkie-talkie in his hand

Protesters wearing black hoodies with their faces covered carry bows and arrows along a bridge. One appears to have a walkie-talkie in his hand

Protesters wearing black hoodies with their faces covered carry bows and arrows along a bridge. One appears to have a walkie-talkie in his hand 

Protesters walk along a road near Cross Harbour Tunnel. They appear to be wearing protective body armour and shin pads

Protesters walk along a road near Cross Harbour Tunnel. They appear to be wearing protective body armour and shin pads

Protesters walk along a road near Cross Harbour Tunnel. They appear to be wearing protective body armour and shin pads

The soldiers could be seen helping to clear the roads near their barracks in Hong Kong, carrying brooms in this picture as they jogged

The soldiers could be seen helping to clear the roads near their barracks in Hong Kong, carrying brooms in this picture as they jogged

The soldiers could be seen helping to clear the roads near their barracks in Hong Kong, carrying brooms in this picture as they jogged

China's People's Liberation Army soldiers (pictured) in shorts and t-shirts made the surprising appearance on the streets on Saturday

China's People's Liberation Army soldiers (pictured) in shorts and t-shirts made the surprising appearance on the streets on Saturday

China’s People’s Liberation Army soldiers (pictured) in shorts and t-shirts made the surprising appearance on the streets on Saturday

They were there to help residents clean up debris and barricades after anti-government protests blocked roads. Pictured: One of the soldiers with the National Flag of the People's Republic of China on his left arm

They were there to help residents clean up debris and barricades after anti-government protests blocked roads. Pictured: One of the soldiers with the National Flag of the People's Republic of China on his left arm

They were there to help residents clean up debris and barricades after anti-government protests blocked roads. Pictured: One of the soldiers with the National Flag of the People’s Republic of China on his left arm

It is feared the soldiers being on the streets, despite the reason, could worsen the situation with protesters. Pictured: A soldier carrying bricks on Saturday 

A protester wearing a gas mask with a make-shift shield and baton faces police. Hong Kong has already had more than five months of demonstrations

A protester wearing a gas mask with a make-shift shield and baton faces police. Hong Kong has already had more than five months of demonstrations

A protester wearing a gas mask with a make-shift shield and baton faces police. Hong Kong has already had more than five months of demonstrations

Clashes between protesters and police have become increasingly violent. China has said any attempt at independence for Hong Kong will be crushed, but troops have remained inside their base.

Chinese state media repeatedly broadcast comments made on Thursday by President Xi Jinping, in which he denounced the unrest and said ‘stopping violence and controlling chaos while restoring order is currently Hong Kong’s most urgent task’.

Saturday’s clean-up followed some of the worst violence seen this year, after a police operation against protesters at the Chinese University of Hong Kong on Tuesday.

The authorities have since largely stayed away from at least five university campuses that had been barricaded by thousands of students and activists who stockpiled petrol bombs, catapults, bows and arrows and other weapons.

Many protesters appeared to have left the campuses by late Saturday but Hong Kong’s Cross-Harbour Tunnel was still blocked by protesters occupying Polytechnic University, where violence flared again on Saturday night.

Chan, a 20-year-old Polytechnic student said: ‘We don’t want to attack the police, we just want to safeguard our campus. 

Protesters used what appears to be plastic doors to protect themselves during clashes outside a university

Protesters used what appears to be plastic doors to protect themselves during clashes outside a university

Protesters used what appears to be plastic doors to protect themselves during clashes outside a university

An anti-government protesters stands at a blocked outlet of the Cross Harbour Tunnel near the Polytechnic University

An anti-government protesters stands at a blocked outlet of the Cross Harbour Tunnel near the Polytechnic University

An anti-government protesters stands at a blocked outlet of the Cross Harbour Tunnel near the Polytechnic University

Hundreds of residents moved in to help clear barricaded roads (pictured on Pok Fu Road on Saturday) near several universities that were occupied and fortified by protesters this week

Hundreds of residents moved in to help clear barricaded roads (pictured on Pok Fu Road on Saturday) near several universities that were occupied and fortified by protesters this week

Hundreds of residents moved in to help clear barricaded roads (pictured on Pok Fu Road on Saturday) near several universities that were occupied and fortified by protesters this week

The presence of PLA troops (pictured inside their barrack on Saturday) on the streets, even to help clean up roads near their base, could enrage protesters and stoke further controversy over the Chinese-ruled territory's autonomous status

The presence of PLA troops (pictured inside their barrack on Saturday) on the streets, even to help clean up roads near their base, could enrage protesters and stoke further controversy over the Chinese-ruled territory's autonomous status

The presence of PLA troops (pictured inside their barrack on Saturday) on the streets, even to help clean up roads near their base, could enrage protesters and stoke further controversy over the Chinese-ruled territory’s autonomous status

A member of China's People's Liberation Army stands guard inside Osborn Barracks in Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong on Saturday

A member of China's People's Liberation Army stands guard inside Osborn Barracks in Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong on Saturday

A member of China’s People’s Liberation Army stands guard inside Osborn Barracks in Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong on Saturday

Up to 12,000 troops are now believed to be based across Hong Kong (pictured, Osborn Barracks in Kowloon Tong district) - more than double the usual garrison number, foreign envoys and security analysts estimate

Up to 12,000 troops are now believed to be based across Hong Kong (pictured, Osborn Barracks in Kowloon Tong district) - more than double the usual garrison number, foreign envoys and security analysts estimate

Up to 12,000 troops are now believed to be based across Hong Kong (pictured, Osborn Barracks in Kowloon Tong district) – more than double the usual garrison number, foreign envoys and security analysts estimate

‘The reason why we want safeguard our campus is we want citizens to join the mass strike and protect Hong Kong.’

Earlier, hundreds of pro-China demonstrators gathered by the city’s legislature and police headquarters, waving Chinese and Hong Kong flags. Some held up posters reading ‘Police we stand with you’, while others chanted ‘Support the police’.

Pro-China protests have so far attracted much smaller numbers than those angry at Beijing. 

By late afternoon, the PLA soldiers had left the streets outside Baptist University beside their barracks in Kowloon Tong.

Police in riot gear try to separate students and local residents near the University of Hong Kong after the latest batch of protests on Saturday

Police in riot gear try to separate students and local residents near the University of Hong Kong after the latest batch of protests on Saturday

Police in riot gear try to separate students and local residents near the University of Hong Kong after the latest batch of protests on Saturday

The former British colony has been rocked by more than five months of demonstrations (pictured, residents pull down a barricade outside the University of Hong Kong), with pro-democracy protesters angry at perceived Communist Party meddling in a city guaranteed its freedoms when it returned to Chinese rule in 1997

The former British colony has been rocked by more than five months of demonstrations (pictured, residents pull down a barricade outside the University of Hong Kong), with pro-democracy protesters angry at perceived Communist Party meddling in a city guaranteed its freedoms when it returned to Chinese rule in 1997

The former British colony has been rocked by more than five months of demonstrations (pictured, residents pull down a barricade outside the University of Hong Kong), with pro-democracy protesters angry at perceived Communist Party meddling in a city guaranteed its freedoms when it returned to Chinese rule in 1997

An anti-government protester cleans up after demonstrations at the Polytechnic University in Hong Kong on Saturday

An anti-government protester cleans up after demonstrations at the Polytechnic University in Hong Kong on Saturday

An anti-government protester cleans up after demonstrations at the Polytechnic University in Hong Kong on Saturday

Local residents remove a barricade as anti-government protesters sit in the road outside the University of Hong Kong on Saturday

Local residents remove a barricade as anti-government protesters sit in the road outside the University of Hong Kong on Saturday

Local residents remove a barricade as anti-government protesters sit in the road outside the University of Hong Kong on Saturday

Clashes between protesters and police have become increasingly violent (pictured, a smashed window at the Polytechnic University), and China has warned that any attempt at independence for Hong Kong will be crushed, but the military have remained inside their base

Clashes between protesters and police have become increasingly violent (pictured, a smashed window at the Polytechnic University), and China has warned that any attempt at independence for Hong Kong will be crushed, but the military have remained inside their base

Clashes between protesters and police have become increasingly violent (pictured, a smashed window at the Polytechnic University), and China has warned that any attempt at independence for Hong Kong will be crushed, but the military have remained inside their base

Chinese troops have appeared on streets only once since the 1997 handover to help clear up after a typhoon in 2018. It was not clear how many were involved on Saturday.

The PLA garrison in Hong Kong said that when some residents began cleaning, some troops ‘helped clear the road in front of the garrison gate’.

Demosista, a pro-democracy organisation, said Saturday’s clean-up operation could set a ‘grave precedent’ if the city’s government invites the military to deal with internal problems.

By late afternoon, the soldiers had left the streets outside Baptist University, which neighbours their barracks in the leafy district of Kowloon Tong. Pictured: A pro-democracy protester sits on Pok Fu Lam Road on Saturday

By late afternoon, the soldiers had left the streets outside Baptist University, which neighbours their barracks in the leafy district of Kowloon Tong. Pictured: A pro-democracy protester sits on Pok Fu Lam Road on Saturday

By late afternoon, the soldiers had left the streets outside Baptist University, which neighbours their barracks in the leafy district of Kowloon Tong. Pictured: A pro-democracy protester sits on Pok Fu Lam Road on Saturday

Chinese troops have appeared on local streets only once since the 1997 handover, to help with cleanup operations after a typhoon in late 2018. It was not immediately clear how many were involved on Saturday. Pictured: The clean up operation at the Polytechnic University

Chinese troops have appeared on local streets only once since the 1997 handover, to help with cleanup operations after a typhoon in late 2018. It was not immediately clear how many were involved on Saturday. Pictured: The clean up operation at the Polytechnic University

Chinese troops have appeared on local streets only once since the 1997 handover, to help with cleanup operations after a typhoon in late 2018. It was not immediately clear how many were involved on Saturday. Pictured: The clean up operation at the Polytechnic University

In August, Beijing moved thousands of troops across the border into Hong Kong in what state news agency Xinhua described as a routine rotation. Foreign envoys and security analysts estimate up to 12,000 troops are now based across Hong Kong – more than double the usual garrison number.

Standing beside a black flag with the slogan ‘Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our Times,’ James Wong, 23, was among protesters manning a bridge at Baptist University.

‘We didn’t want to confront the people and the PLA troops directly,’ he said. 

‘We are not directly against the PLA, but rather the government. But the PLA should not leave their base because this is Hong Kong territory.’

In some cases the two sides clashed, before the dwindling number of anti-government protesters at the campuses retreated. Pictured: Protesters on Saturday near the University of Hong Kong

In some cases the two sides clashed, before the dwindling number of anti-government protesters at the campuses retreated. Pictured: Protesters on Saturday near the University of Hong Kong

In some cases the two sides clashed, before the dwindling number of anti-government protesters at the campuses retreated. Pictured: Protesters on Saturday near the University of Hong Kong

Pedestrians walk past debris left by protesters on a road leading to the out-of-use Cross Harbour Tunnel near the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Pedestrians walk past debris left by protesters on a road leading to the out-of-use Cross Harbour Tunnel near the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Pedestrians walk past debris left by protesters on a road leading to the out-of-use Cross Harbour Tunnel near the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Anti-China students and activists have barricaded at least five campuses in the last week, stockpiling petrol bombs, catapults, bows and arrows and other weapons. Pictured: The clean up on Pok Fu Lam Road at the University of Hong Kong

Anti-China students and activists have barricaded at least five campuses in the last week, stockpiling petrol bombs, catapults, bows and arrows and other weapons. Pictured: The clean up on Pok Fu Lam Road at the University of Hong Kong

Anti-China students and activists have barricaded at least five campuses in the last week, stockpiling petrol bombs, catapults, bows and arrows and other weapons. Pictured: The clean up on Pok Fu Lam Road at the University of Hong Kong

Hundreds of residents moved in to help clear barricaded roads near several universities.

Earlier clashes on Saturday saw at least one petrol bomb thrown before anti-government protesters at the campuses retreated. No soldiers appeared to have been involved in the confrontations. ‘We just want our lives to continue,’ said one resident who was helping clear streets near Hong Kong University. ‘There are many elderly who need to go the hospital and children who need to go to school. I am very sad to see what is happening in my community.’ 

Saturday’s rally to denounce the anti-government violence drew a mix of young and elderly.

‘A lot of people keep silent, afraid of the rioters. It’s time for all the people who are silent to step up and say that’s enough,’ said a 49-year-old housewife surnamed Kong.

Pedestrians walk next to a brick wall built by protesters. Rows of colourful umbrellas cover the railings overhead

Pedestrians walk next to a brick wall built by protesters. Rows of colourful umbrellas cover the railings overhead

Pedestrians walk next to a brick wall built by protesters. Rows of colourful umbrellas cover the railings overhead 

In October, Chinese soldiers issued a warning to Hong Kong protesters who shone lasers at their barracks in the city, in the first direct interaction between mainland military forces and protesters. Pictured: A barricade near Pok Fu Lam Road

In October, Chinese soldiers issued a warning to Hong Kong protesters who shone lasers at their barracks in the city, in the first direct interaction between mainland military forces and protesters. Pictured: A barricade near Pok Fu Lam Road

In October, Chinese soldiers issued a warning to Hong Kong protesters who shone lasers at their barracks in the city, in the first direct interaction between mainland military forces and protesters. Pictured: A barricade near Pok Fu Lam Road

In August, Beijing moved thousands of troops across the border into Hong Kong in an operation state news agency Xinhua described at the time as a routine. Pictured: Pro-democracy protesters block a road in Hong Kong on Saturday

In August, Beijing moved thousands of troops across the border into Hong Kong in an operation state news agency Xinhua described at the time as a routine. Pictured: Pro-democracy protesters block a road in Hong Kong on Saturday

In August, Beijing moved thousands of troops across the border into Hong Kong in an operation state news agency Xinhua described at the time as a routine. Pictured: Pro-democracy protesters block a road in Hong Kong on Saturday

A 70-year-old street cleaner died on Thursday after being hit on the head a brick police said had been thrown by rioters. On Monday, police blamed a rioter for dousing a man in petrol and setting him on fire. The victim is in critical condition.

On the same day, police shot a protester in the abdomen. He was in a stable condition.

Pro-police protesters laid white flowers outside the government office to pay their respects to the cleaner. Others applauded and cheered the police, some bowing and giving thumbs up as they walked past riot police on duty.

Train services suspended earlier in the week were gradually resuming, metro operator MTR Corp said. 

China denies interfering in Hong Kong's affairs and has blamed Western countries for stirring up trouble. Pictured: A road block being torn down near the University of Hong Kong on Saturday

China denies interfering in Hong Kong's affairs and has blamed Western countries for stirring up trouble. Pictured: A road block being torn down near the University of Hong Kong on Saturday

China denies interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs and has blamed Western countries for stirring up trouble. Pictured: A road block being torn down near the University of Hong Kong on Saturday

Pictured: Residents form a human chain to remove debris from concrete barricades built by protesters on Pok Fu Lam Road at the University of Hong Kong on Saturday

Pictured: Residents form a human chain to remove debris from concrete barricades built by protesters on Pok Fu Lam Road at the University of Hong Kong on Saturday

Pictured: Residents form a human chain to remove debris from concrete barricades built by protesters on Pok Fu Lam Road at the University of Hong Kong on Saturday

 

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Bourke St inquest: Police radio recordings show chaos of tracking Gargasoulas

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Police radio recordings have revealed the chaos and confusion as they tracked James Gargasoulas in the lead up to his murderous rampage on Bourke Street.

Officers can be heard warning “someone needs to take this vehicle out before he kills someone” moments before pedestrians were run down in Melbourne’s CBD.

Watch the video above

Gargasoulas was tailed by police for hours before driving a stolen car through the CBD, doing donuts outside Flinders Street Station and then mowing down dozens of pedestrians.

Families of the victims listened as the harrowing radio transmissions were made public for the first time as part of an inquest into the police response.


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‘Urgent. Someone needs to take this vehicle out’

Police units said “he’s lost it” and “you need as many market units at the intersection …. ASAP” in the radio recordings played to Victoria’s Coroner’s Court on Monday.

“Urgent. Someone needs to take this vehicle out before he kills someone – get an opportunity,” an Altona North unit said.

“This car is a danger to pedestrians and is in the middle of the Flinders and Swanson street doing donuts,” another officer warns.

James Gargasoulas did a number of donuts outside Flinders Street Station before the massacre.

Police add the driver is armed with a knife, having just stabbed his brother, and very dangerous.

Seconds later, a frantic voice adds: “Someone needs to take this vehicle out before he kills someone.”

But police did not take it out.

His six victims included three-month-old Zachary Bryant and 10-year-old Thalia Hakin along with Jess Mudie, 22, Yosuke Kanno, 25, Matthew Si, 33, and Bhavita Patel, 33.

James Gargasoulas leaving the Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne in November 2018.

Some of the families have expressed criticism of the police response that day.

“We accept this is the result of one man but the system is also complicit in our son’s death,” baby Zachary’s father Matthew Bryant

“The police were never in control … It is not risk management if you only react after death,” Matthew Si’s wife Melinda Tan.

More on 7NEWS.com.au

The seven-week inquest will scrutinise the police response that day and will call more than 60 witnesses, many of them police.

It will also examine why Gargasoulas was released on bail just a week before he massacre. The inquest continues.

– with AAP

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