16:50 GMT +310 December 2019
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    Protesters keep watch from the roof of a footbridge near the out of use Cross Harbour Tunnel outside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hung Hom, Hong Kong on November 16, 2019.

    Over 400 Arrested at Besieged University in Hong Kong - Reports

    © AFP 2019 / ANTHONY WALLACE
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - More than 400 people have been arrested while trying to escape from the besieged Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) since Sunday evening, the South China Morning Post reported on Monday.

    Hundreds of student protesters became trapped inside PolyU after Hong Kong police closed all university exits following violent clashes, which entailed demonstrators hurling petrol bombs, bamboo poles and bricks, and shooting arrows at police officers.

    The Hong Kong-based newspaper cited an unnamed police source as saying that some of those arrested were taken to hospitals by ambulances.

    Reporters at the scene shared on social media videos and pictures of a daring escape attempt by some of the student protesters, who slid down ropes hanging over a road bridge appeared to be at least 60 feet tall, and were picked up by supporters on mopeds. The escape reportedly went undetected for more than 40 minutes, after which police began arresting those left behind.

    During a press briefing on Monday, John Lee, the secretary of security in Hong Kong, said that everyone trapped inside PolyU would be arrested for taking part in the rioting. He also called on them to leave the university peacefully and follow the instructions of the police.

    Protesters react as police fire tear gas while they attempt to march towards Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hung Hom district of Hong Kong on November 18, 2019
    © AFP 2019 / DALE DE LA REY
    Protesters react as police fire tear gas while they attempt to march towards Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hung Hom district of Hong Kong on November 18, 2019

    The massive protests began in Hong Kong in early June over a controversial extradition bill, which was officially withdrawn in October. Frustrated with the local authorities’ heavy-handed responses to the protests, the demonstrators expanded their demands to add an independent investigation into alleged police brutality and greater civil liberties, including universal suffrage, while calling for the resignation of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

    Beijing has repeatedly stated that the situation in Hong Kong is a result of foreign interference in China's domestic affairs and expressed full support for the actions of the local authorities.

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