In Summary
  • The men - dressed in white shirts and suspected to be triad gangsters - assaulted pro-democracy protesters and passers-by in the Yuen Long area.
  • Footage posted on social media showed dozens of men attacking people with wooden rods and metal sticks inside the station.
  • Opposition lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting suggested the mob had ties to organised crime syndicates.
  • Mass protests have been held for weeks, initially over an extradition deal with mainland China, which the Hong Kong government has since suspended.

Hong Kong has been left in shock after a night of violence on Sunday, which saw dozens of masked men storm a train station.

The men - dressed in white shirts and suspected to be triad gangsters - assaulted pro-democracy protesters and passers-by in the Yuen Long area.

This is the first time this kind of violence has been seen in the ongoing anti-extradition demonstrations.

Several lawmakers questioned why police were slow to arrive at the scene.

Footage posted on social media showed dozens of men attacking people with wooden rods and metal sticks inside the station.

Forty-five people were injured, with one person in critical condition.

Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam told reporters the gang attacks were "shocking". She also condemned protesters for defacing China's main representative office in the city earlier on Sunday.

WHAT HAPPENED?

Pro-democracy protesters were set upon as they travelled back from a rally in the centre of Hong Kong, where riot police had fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters.

The masked men stormed Yuen Long MTR station at about 10.30pm local time (14:30 GMT).

Local media said they were targeting people dressed in black - the colour most protesters were wearing.

In a statement, the government said: "This is absolutely unacceptable to Hong Kong as a society that observes the rule of law. The SAR [Special Administrative Region] Government strongly condemns any violence and will seriously take enforcement actions." 

One journalist, Gwyneth Ho, was attacked while she was in the middle of live streaming for news website Stand News. She is currently in hospital.

The Hong Kong Journalist Association said some reporters on the scene had equipment seized.

THE MEN

It is not known who organised the attack.

Opposition lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting suggested the mob had ties to organised crime syndicates.

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