HONG KONG: The police is investigating an attempted murder after a 57-year-old man was set on fire on Monday (Nov 11) in Hong Kong following a confrontation with protesters.
Videos of the brutal attack, which went viral online, show a man in a green T-shirt arguing with people on a footbridge. A masked man dressed in black then throws a suspected flammable liquid over the man and sets him ablaze before fleeing.
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Hong Kong police said they received a report from a passer-by around 1pm on Tuesday about an argument between the man and protesters on a footbridge in the northern district of Ma On Shan.
The man had multiple burn injuries and was admitted to a hospital in a critical condition, the police said, adding that investigations by the Commercial Crime Bureau are under way.
Police spokesman John Tse told reporters on Monday that shortly before the attack, masked protesters had trashed the nearby MTR station and investigators believe the man “chased the rioters”.
“Afterwards he was beaten up and set on fire,” Tse said.
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What sparked the argument is unclear, but the expletive-laden conversation shows the man in green criticising people sympathetic to Hong Kong’s protests, and his opponents berating him back.
At one point the man in green can be heard saying “none of you are Chinese”, to which the crowd responds with “we are HongKongers” and a string of vulgarities.
One of his opponents shouts “Go back to the Greater Bay Area”, the name for a nearby region of the Chinese mainland across the border from Hong Kong.
The incident came during a tense day in Hong Kong, which has been engulfed for more than five months by increasingly violent protests.
MORE: Our coverage of the Hong Kong protests
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