In the first direct interaction between the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and pro-democracy demonstrators since the beginning of protests, the Chinese military garrison in Hong Kong on Sunday raised a yellow flag, warning protesters they could be prosecuted if they approached the barracks.
Videos shared by Hong Kong public broadcaster RTHK shows a yellow flag raised from atop a PLA building in Kowloon Tong, in north Kowloon. Six personnel could be seen standing on top of the barracks shining flashlights at dozens of protesters below, who were aiming laser pointers and other lights at the building, reported CNN.
A police source said that the six personnel on the roof responding to the crowd were not police officers, but PLA officials.
The semi-autonomous region witnessed a fresh round of anti-government protests over the weekend following a controversial new mask ban imposed by the government using a colonial-era emergency law.
Thousands of activists hit the streets on Sunday in defiance of the regulation, despite the city's transport network remaining partially suspended. Multiple rounds of tear gas were fired by the police on the protestors who marched through the streets wearing masks in defiance of the law.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor imposed the ban in the hope it would quell several months of anti-government protests, which were sparked by the now-withdrawn extradition bill and have descended into regular outbreaks of violence.
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