Pro-democracy demonstrators holed up in a Hong Kong university campus set the main entrance ablaze Monday to prevent surrounding police moving in, after officers warned they may use live rounds if confronted by deadly weapons.
The police warning, which came after one officer was struck by an arrow, marked a further escalation of the near six-month crisis engulfing the city.
China has repeatedly warned that it will not tolerate dissent, and there are growing concerns that Beijing could intervene directly to end the spiralling unrest.
Intense clashes throughout Sunday, which saw a police officer hit in the leg by an arrow and protesters meet police tear gas with volleys of petrol bombs, rolled overnight across the Kowloon district, as a call went out to defend the besieged campus.
There, protesters had hunkered down under umbrellas from occasional fire from police water cannon and hurled Molotov cocktails at an armoured vehicle, leaving it ablaze on a flyover near the campus.
Police declared the campus a “riot” scene rioting is punishable by up to 10 years in jail and blocked exits as spokesman Louis Lau issued a stark warning in a Facebook live broadcast.