Hong Kong police have detained six men, some with links to triads, following a violent attack on pro-democracy protesters at a subway station that saw dozens injured. Senior police official Chan Tin-chu said Monday the men, aged between 24 and 54, were held for "unlawful assembly" and are being investigated for taking part in the attack late Sunday night at the MTR station in the Yuen Long neighborhood. Some of them are villagers, and their occupations range from drivers and hawkers to renovation workers, he said. "Some of them have triad background," he said. "I believe that more ... will be detained soon. Police will not condone any form of violence." Police are still investigating the motive of the attack, Chan added, without providing further details on the alleged links to the triads, or organized crime.
A gang of white-clad men armed with metal rods and wooden poles beat up anti-government protesters and others inside a subway station at the Yuen Long neighborhood, injuring 45 people including a man who remains in critical condition. Police have come under fire for being slow to respond to the violence against the protesters. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has said police were stretched thin due to the massive crowds and denied accusations that her government colluded with the assailants. Witnesses say the men began to gather near the station hours before the attack, the South China Morning Post reports. As rumors spread that black-clad protesters might be targeted, activists left clothes in different colors at ticket-vending machines at the city's Central station, along with written warnings that people traveling to Yuen Long should avoid wearing black. (There have been ominous signs that a crackdown from Beijing is becoming more likely.)