Published: Sun, July 21, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Hong Kong actor Simon Yam stabbed during event in China

Hong Kong actor Simon Yam stabbed during event in China

Police in Hong Kong have discovered a stash of a powerful homemade explosive as the semi-autonomous Chinese city readied for another major pro-democracy protest on Sunday.

In a separate news conference, police said the discovery of explosives is the reason that they have barred the Sunday protest from finishing in Central, the heart of Hong Kong's business district, as the organizers, the Civil Human Rights Front, had planned.

The initial protests were lit by a now suspended bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China.

Hong Kong's leaders have struggled to respond to a massive wave of public anger over the past month after a plan backfired to change the law so that criminal suspects could be extradicted to mainland China for trial.

A Taiwanese lawyer who helps Hong Kong residents come to Taiwan told the broadcaster that they have encountered technical difficulties when seeking to extend their stay in the nation.

Earlier protests have often ended with police clashing with groups of protesters trying to occupy streets or refusing to disperse.

The rally, which won coverage in Chinese state media, focused on support for the police and condemnation of the violence that has marred pro-democracy rallies.

Saturday's edition of Hong Kong's staunchly pro-Beijing newspaper Ta Kung Pao ran a front-page encouraging readers to join with the headline: "Kick away the violence".

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Police said Saturday a bomb disposal unit was called to the warehouse belonging to the pro-independence group to carry out a controlled detonation of the highly unstable substance tri-acetone tri-peroxide (TATP).

McWhirter said his team had carried out at least one controlled explosion.

Police have erected large barricades near government headquarters in preparation for the protest march through central Hong Kong on Sunday.

Tensions have increased during the summer.

Under the 1997 handover deal with Britain, China promised to allow Hong Kong to keep key liberties such as its independent judiciary and freedom of speech.

Last weekend two initially peaceful protests degenerated into running skirmishes between baton-wielding riot police and activists, resulting in scores of injuries and more than 40 arrests.

Authorities have also resisted calls for the city's leader to be directly elected by the people.

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