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Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s embattled leader, appealed to residents in the city to avoid taking part in any illegal activities as protests on Monday took a violent turn that included one protester being shot and a counter-protester set on fire.
Lam told protesters that their demand for democracy has been exceeded by violence, Reuters reported.
Protests began in June over a shelved plan to allow extraditions to mainland China, but have morphed into a movement seeking other demands, including direct elections for Hong Kong’s leaders, as well as an inquiry into police conduct.
Many also believe China is slowly interfering with the freedoms guaranteed to Hong Kong when the British colony went back to Chinese control in 1997.
Media accounts indicate that the situation in the city has worsened on Monday.
The man set on fire around midday was in critical condition in a city hospital. Video posted online show him arguing with a group of young people, before someone douses him with a liquid and strikes a lighter.
The police shooting was also captured on video as demonstrators blocked train lines and roads during the morning commute to push their demands for democratic reforms.
The video, which was posted on Facebook by online video outlet Cupid Producer, showed a police officer collaring one protester and then seemingly shooting another who approached.
The Hong Kong hospital authority said the person shot was in critical condition.
Reuters reported that police fired live ammunition at protesters in the area in the eastern part of the city.
The violence is likely to further inflame passions after a student died Friday from injuries suffered in an earlier fall and police arrested six pro-democracy lawmakers over the weekend.
Protesters mourned the death Friday death of a university student, Chow Tsz-Lok, who fell from a parking garage when police fired tear gas at protesters.
Fox News’ Talia Kaplan and The Associated Press contributed to this report