Hong Kong protests took life of an activist who was involved in anti-government protests.Activist has been shot in the chest by police during a clash.
Though people have been shot by rubber bullets in previous protests, this is the first injury from a live round.
Nearly four months of protests in Hong Kong have challenged Chinese President Xi Jinping’s vision of national unity.
Earlier, the Chinese flag was raised at a special ceremony in the territory. Security was tight and the 12,000 invited guests watched the event on a live video feed from inside a conference centre.
On what is being described by protesters as a “day of grief”, people took to the streets in central Hong Kong and at least six other districts, blocking roads in some areas
At least 51 people were injured during the clashes, as police fired tear gas and protesters threw petrol bombs. Two people were in a critical condition and two others were seriously injured, the Hospital Authority said.
According to local media, at least 96 people were arrested.
The man, who is aged 18, has been undergoing surgery and his condition is not known. Police say he was hit “near his left shoulder”.
Police say their officers were attacked and the policeman who opened fire did so as he “felt his life was under serious threat”.
“He fired a round at the assailant to save his own life and his colleagues’ lives,” Senior Supt Yolanda Yu Hoi-kwan was quoted as saying by the South China Morning Post.
“The police force really did not want to see anyone being injured, so we feel very sad about this,” she added.
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called for restraint and de-escalation in the former British territory, saying: “Whilst there is no excuse for violence, the use of live ammunition is disproportionate and only risks inflaming the situation.”
Police tried to disperse the protesters some of whom were armed with petrol bombs, projectiles or poles with tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon, the latter spraying blue dye to make it easier to identify them later.
Hong Kong protests are causing recession in the economy.