Hong Kong police on Tuesday said that they have defused a pipe bomb and arrested four people for manufacturing it. Police said that they raided an apartment where they found Guy Fawkes masks, protective gear, and other protest-related items.
A senior police officer said that they raided a village house where they found laboratory equipment and arrested men aged between 21 and 29. Police have reported several gun discoveries in the past since the protests started in June 2019.
Senior Superintendent of Police Chan Tin-chu said that they discovered a bomb that was 20 centimetres long and weighed 680 grams. The annual Lunar New year fireworks display on Victoria Harbour was cancelled by the government citing security concern. The government issued a statement on Wednesday where it said that the January 26 event was cancelled keeping public security in mind.
Just recently, Hong Kong police had detained nearly 400 protesters after New Year's Day demonstrations. According to international media reports, the arrests made on January 1 were one of the largest arrests in a single day since the unrest rocked the former British colony in June 2019. What started as a peaceful anti-government protest with tens and thousands of people marching the streets escalated into chaotic scenes with police firing tear gas in order to disperse the crowd.
Hong Kong has been gripped by violent protests since June last year after China decided to bring in a bill that would have allowed Beijing to extradite prisoners to the mainland. After protests grew in numbers, China withdrew the bill but the protests didn't stop there.
Now the protesters are demanding an independent commission to inquire into police brutality, retraction of "riot" characterisation of the protests and immediate release of all the arrested protesters. Hong Kong police have arrested around 7,000 protestors since the protests began in June 2019.
(With inputs from agencies)