HONG KONG — At least two pro-democracy protesters were shot by Hong Kong police Monday morning as the city braced for a general strike to mark the death of another protester killed during a police operation the previous weekend.
The incident occurred in Sai Wan Ho as activists attempting to block a busy street were confronted by a traffic police officer, according to a live news feed. After the officer began grappling with one protester, he fired a live round into the abdomen of another protester approaching him. Two more rounds were subsequently fired at another protester.
A police spokesperson confirmed that live rounds were fired and that two protesters were injured outside the Sai Wan Ho MTR station and taken to Eastern Hospital.
Seven universities across Hong Kong suspended classes as of Monday morning, citing “serious traffic disruptions” across the city.
The city has been gripped by five months of political unrest that began when chief executive Carrie Lam tried to push through an unpopular extradition bill that would have allowed criminal suspects in Hong Kong to face trial in mainland China.
A protester who fell from a multistory parking lot during a police dispersal operation a week earlier died from his injuries on Friday morning, escalating tensions between police and the public that have been increasingly strained over the months of worsening violence.
On Oct. 1, China’s National Day, the first live round to hit a protester was fired by riot police pursued by protesters in the distant suburb of Tsuen Wan.
Shibani Mahtani in Washington contributed to this report.