The police have arrested five men over an arson attack and explosion in the demonstration area outside the Legislative Council building two weeks ago.
Ng Wai-hon, superintendent of Hong Kong Island regional crime unit, said the five male suspects were aged between 18 and 22, some of them were tertiary students, and some were unemployed. They were arrested on Monday morning for allegedly conspiring to commit arson on December 9.
“This group is organised and premeditated to commit a crime,” Ng said. “They broke a fire alarm outside the [LegCo] building and then set fire to inflammable objects, put them into the rubbish bin and caused a blast,” he added.
He would not rule out any further arrest being made, Ng said.
Ng urged people not to bring inflammable objects or explosive devices to demonstrations. He condemned the act of the suspects, saying they ignored the law and the safety of others.
One of the suspects was brought to the LegCo demonstration area at 3pm for a reenactment.
A burnt gas canister was found near the rubbish bin after the explosion. No one was injured.
A rally had been scheduled to take place in the area that night, when the debate on the controversial copyright bill – dubbed “Internet Article 23” – was supposed to be taking place. However, the meeting had been unexpectedly adjourned earlier in the day.
Police said they were hunting two men after the incident and released CCTV footage showing two masked suspects.