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Hong Kong Acid Attacks

HK police arrests the man behind acid attacks on tourists

David Eimer  Jan 10, 2010

The man, who police believe could be behind a campaign of terror in which 100 people have been injured in the last 13 months, was detained early on Sunday morning, just hours after 30 people were hurt when two bottles of acid were thrown into the Temple Street night market in Kowloon, one of Hong Kong's most popular tourist attractions.

The bottles containing a foul-smelling, corrosive liquid exploded on the street at 9.30pm on Saturday, when the market was packed with shoppers and people eating at outdoor restaurants. The victims, who included a seven year-old child and nine tourists, suffered burns to their faces, arms and legs.

"People were running for shelter and some were screaming. It was chaotic," said a Malaysian tourist.

Local residents blocked the exits of buildings in the area, one of the most densely populated parts of Hong Kong, before hundreds of police started searching the surrounding rooftops. The suspect, a Chinese man in his 30s, was found hiding on an upper floor of a building next to Temple Street with two lids that fitted the bottles used in the attack, according to a police spokesman.

Saturday's incident was condemned as "outrageous and heart-breaking" by Hong Kong's leader Donald Tsang. It was the fifth in a series of acid attacks in crowded pedestrian zones since December 2008 that have injured over 100 people and caused panic across the city. Last month, six people were hurt, two seriously, after acid was thrown on a street in Causeway Bay where locals were celebrating the Hong Kong football team's win over Japan.

Most of the attacks have taken place in Mong Kok, a busy shopping area close to the Temple Street night market. The authorities have been criticised for their failure to find the perpetrator, despite installing surveillance cameras and offering rewards for information. So far, no motive for the attacks has emerged, with psychologists speculating that the attacker is a lone individual daring the police to catch him.

HK police arrests the man behind acid attacks on tourists
Police officers detain a man whose face is hidden by a hood in Hong Kong / Photo by Ming Pao/PA


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