Foreign students including mainland Chinese students were evacuating Hong Kong after several universities emerged as battlegrounds as protesters tried to prevent police from storming their campuses.
There is a larger sense that the peace more distant than ever in Hong Kong as battle grips universities. Dozens of foreign students have been urged to leave Hong Kong after another night of clashes left several people seriously injured. Danish university chief tells 36 students to return home as several protesters injured in violence.
Several Nordic students at Hong Kong Baptist University were being moved after anti-government demonstrators moved on to its grounds, and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) urged its 36 students in Hong Kong to return home.
Anders Overgaard Bjarklev, the head of DTU, said the decision to move came after some of the riots shifted to the campuses and “some of our students have been forced to move from their dormitories because they were put on fire”.
Student Elina Neverdal Hjoennevaag told the Norwegian broadcaster NRK on Wednesday they were being sent to a hotel, adding: “I don’t really know what is happening. I must pack.”
Police on Tuesday raided the Chinese University of Hong Kong, setting off violent clashes. The university remained barricaded by demonstrators on Thursday, with roadblocks and brick walls at the schools various entrances. Protesters also occupied a bridge that leads into the campus. Police have accused the university of being a “manufacturing base for petrol bombs and a refuge for rioters and criminals” after some protesters fired burning arrows – taken from the university sports centre – at officers and threw 400 petrol bombs. Police fired more than 1,500 rounds of tear gas and more than 1,300 rubber bullets at the demonstrators. The city was paralysed, with much of its public transport suspended and all universities closed.
A worker for the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, struck by an object thrown by protesters earlier on Wednesday, was in critical condition, according to the government. A 15-year-old believed to have been hit in the head by a tear-gas canister has reportedly suffered a skull fracture.
On Thursday the Hong Kong Education Bureau said all schools would suspend classes from Friday to Sunday due to transportation disruptions. Several universities have cancelled classes for the rest of the semester or moved lectures online
Hong Kong’s Education Bureau has suspended classes at primary and secondary schools for Thursday because of violence and described the situation in the city as “chilling”. The bureau also appealed for “school children to stay at home, not to hang around in the streets, to stay away from danger, and not to participate in illegal activities”.