Riot police clash with protesters as Hong Kong march descends into violence

By Steve George, Ben Westcott, Joshua Berlinger, Jessie Yeung, Jo Shelley, Kristie Lu Stout and Eric Cheung, CNN

Updated 0950 GMT (1750 HKT) July 28, 2019
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11:15 a.m. ET, July 27, 2019

WATCH: The moment Hong Kong police stormed Yuen Long subway

12:06 p.m. ET, July 27, 2019

Violence erupts at Yuen Long station for second weekend in a row

An injured protester is treated in Yuen Long station
An injured protester is treated in Yuen Long station CNN/Rebecca Wright

The decision by riot police to storm the subway station has drawn unfavorable comparisons among demonstrators with the events of last weekend, when protesters returning home to Yuen Long were viciously attacked by a mob wielding iron bars and bamboo sticks.

Several protesters were knocked to the ground and injured when police entered Yuen Long station just moments ago. Paramedics are now on the scene and attending to the wounded.

Blood stains can be seen across the station floor. Rather than forcing the protesters to leave many are now vowing to stay on. It is not clear whether police plan to reenter the station.

10:33 a.m. ET, July 27, 2019

"Free Hong Kong": Defiant cry goes up from cornered demonstrators

From CNN's Anna Coren and Rebecca Wright

Protesters trapped by riot police in the Yuen Long subway station are chanting "Free Hong Kong."

Chaos briefly reigned inside the station when riot police charged up the stairs with batons, hitting protesters and using pepper spray.

Police wait at the entrance to Yuen Long station where they have cornered dozens of protesters.
Police wait at the entrance to Yuen Long station where they have cornered dozens of protesters. CNN/Rebecca Wright

Protesters responded by using fire extinguishers to try and push the police back.

Blood stains were clearly visible on the floor of the subway station after police left.

Blood stains seen on the floor of the subway station after police stormed it.
Blood stains seen on the floor of the subway station after police stormed it. CNN/Josh Berlinger

12:25 p.m. ET, July 27, 2019

Police say protesters could face up to five years in jail

From CNN's Kenneth Leung and Ben Westcott

Police have warned protesters in Yuen Long that if they don't leave, they could be arrested and charged.

"The protestors are participating in an unauthorized assembly under the Public Order Ordinance and may be liable to a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment," a statement from Hong Kong's police said.

Riot police charged into the Yuen Long subway station where demonstrators had been peacefully gathering, arresting at least one protester and spraying pepper spray into the crowds.

12:26 p.m. ET, July 27, 2019

Riot police storm Yuen Long subway station

Hong Kong's riot police have entered the Yuen Long subway station, charging at protesters who were attempting to peacefully leave the demonstration.

At least one protester appears to have been arrested, while others are yelling at the police from behind the ticket gates amid scenes of panic and confusion.

Some of those gathered are now throwing things at the riot police, who are firing pepper spray into the crowds.

10:01 a.m. ET, July 27, 2019

There is no plan, protesters say, as police move in

From CNN's Joshua Berlinger and Rebecca Wright

Protesters watch from the Yuen Long subway station balcony as police move closer.
Protesters watch from the Yuen Long subway station balcony as police move closer. CNN/Josh Berlinger

Police have begun to move towards the subway station from multiple directions in a bid to clear the remaining protesters from the streets of Yuen Long.

Inside the station, the smell of tear gas is thick in the air but many demonstrators are yelling defiantly and refusing to budge.

Protesters CNN spoke with said there was no plan and they were now waiting to see what happens next.

Others said they wanted to stay behind in case the alleged gang members, who last week attacked protesters in Yuen Long, came out again.

The small rural town of Yuen Long is in the far north of Hong Kong and for many protesters the subway is the only transport option available.

9:51 a.m. ET, July 27, 2019

Five in serious condition after protest clashes

From CNN's Kenneth Leung

Nine people have been injured in clashes between demonstrators and police during Saturday's march in Yuen Long, Hong Kong's Hospital Authority said.

Five people are in a serious condition in Pok Oi Hospital, while another four are stable. Almost all of those injured were male.

The authority wouldn't give any further information on their injuries or whether they were police or protesters.

But the government said their ages range from 22 to 56.

Police declined to grant protesters a letter of no objection for Saturday's demonstration, classifying it as an unauthorized assembly, owing to safety concerns.

12:28 p.m. ET, July 27, 2019

Police advance on remaining protesters, firing tear gas

From CNN's Rebecca Wright and Jo Shelley

Lines of riot police are pushing towards the last remaining Yuen Long protesters, who have taken shelter behind barricades and umbrellas.

Multiple canisters of tear gas were fired as the lines advanced. There are more than a dozen police cars and vans parked behind the police lines.

Protesters wait inside Yuen Long subway station for word on whether to stay or go.
Protesters wait inside Yuen Long subway station for word on whether to stay or go. CNN/Joshua Berlinger

Rubber bullet casings were also found on the ground after the police left, confirming they'd been used earlier in the day against protesters.

As police moved in, Yuen Long subway station was filled with protesters clearly unsure about whether to stay or leave.

9:30 a.m. ET, July 27, 2019

One person still in critical condition from last week's Yuen Long attack

Protesters line up inside an MTR station in the Yuen Long district of Hong Kong on July 27.
Protesters line up inside an MTR station in the Yuen Long district of Hong Kong on July 27. Philip Fong/AFP

Yuen Long has become an unlikely focal point of the city's pro-democracy movement after protesters returning to the town were viciously attacked by a mob wielding iron bars and bamboo sticks last weekend.

Six men have been arrested in connection with the attack. The men, whose ages range from 24 to 54, will face charges of "unlawful assembly" police said in a press conference earlier this week. Their motives are still under investigation but police said some of those arrested had links to local criminal gangs known as triads.

Footage posted on social media Sunday night showed a marauding gang of masked men, wearing white T-shirts and wielding batons and sticks, blindly attacking crowds on the platform and inside train carriages at Yuen Long metro station.

Protesters were reportedly at the mercy of the mob for almost an hour before police arrived and at least 45 people were injured.

One week later, three people remain in hospital, one of whom is in a critical condition.