Hong Kong protesters clash with police over the shooting of 18-year-old student as months of demonstrations show no sign of letting up

Hong Kong: Hong Kong anti-government demonstrators clashed with police into the early hours of Thursday, venting their anger over a policeman’s shooting and wounding of a teenager earlier in the week, as months of protests show no sign of letting up.

The student was shot at point-blank range as he fought the officer with a metal pipe during violent protests on Tuesday when demonstrators hurled petrol bombs at police who responded with tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon.

Rail operator MTR Corp closed stations in districts including Po Lam, Hang Hau and Tseung Kwan O just before midnight on Wednesday as violence escalated once again.

Police said on Thursday the protesters’ acts “seriously undermined public order and posed a threat to the personal safety of police officers and members of the public.”

The former British colony has been rocked by months of protests over a now-withdrawn extradition bill that would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trial, but have evolved into calls for democracy, among other demands.

The opposition to the Beijing-backed government has plunged the city into its biggest political crisis in decades and poses the gravest popular challenge to President Xi Jinping since he came to power.

Protesters are also angry about what they see as creeping interference by Beijing in their city’s affairs despite a promise of autonomy in the “one country, two systems” formula under which Hong Kong returned to China in 1997.

China dismisses accusations it is meddling and has accused foreign governments, including the United States and Britain, of stirring up the anti-China sentiment.