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'Two protesters are shot' by police in Hong Kong as officers open fire with live rounds

A Hong Kong police officer shot at masked protesters on Monday morning, hitting at least one in the torso, during rush hour clashes broadcast live on Facebook.

Footage showed an officer drawing his sidearm in the district of Sai Wan Ho while trying to detain a masked man at a blockaded junction.

Another masked man then attempted to liberate the other, appearing to take a swipe at the officer's pistol before being shot in the midriff.

Moments later two more live rounds were fired by the policeman and the second masked man went to ground, although it was not clear from the footage if he too had been wounded.  

A Hong Kong police officer (pictured opening fire) shot at masked protesters on Monday morning - hitting at least one in the torso - during clashes broadcast live on Facebook

Police could later be seen detaining the two men on the ground. The first man (face blurred) had a pool of blood next to him, his body limp as officers moved him around and apparently tried to tie his hands, while the second man was conscious and talking

Police officers detaining the two protesters in the aftermath, the man who was shot in the torso appeared to be unconscious

Police could later be seen detaining the two men on the ground. The first man had a pool of blood next to him, his body limp as officers moved him around and apparently tried to tie his hands.

The second man was conscious and talking.

A police source, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed to AFP that live rounds were fired at more than one protester in Sai Wan Ho and that a statement would be issued.

Hong Kong has been upended by five months of huge and increasingly violent rallies, but Beijing has refused to give in to most of the movement's demands.

Protesters block roads in Wong Tai Sin district, as they call for a general strike, in Hong Kong on Monday morning

Police officers direct residents as pro-democracy protesters block major roads in Hong Kong on Monday morning

A traffic jam is seen as roads are blocked by pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong

Protesters set up barricades to block a road in Wong Tai Sin on Monday

Tensions have soared in recent days following the death on Friday of a 22-year-old student who succumbed to injuries sustained from a fall in the vicinity of a police clearance operation the weekend before.

The city has seen four days of consecutive protests since the student's death as well as tens of thousands attending mass vigils.

Using online messaging forums, activists had called for a general strike on Monday morning.

Flashmob protests sprung up in multiple districts during the morning commuter period, with small groups of masked protesters targeting subway stations and building barricades on road junctions.

Even before the shooting in Sai Wan Ho, tear gas had been fired in at least two other locations. 

A view of graffiti at Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong on Monday

People react after a tear gas canister fired by police lands amongst them during a standoff with protesters and residents in the Tsuen Wan district of the New Territories in Hong Kong on Sunday night

Monday's shooting is the third time protesters have been shot with live rounds by police. 

On 1 October a student was struck in the chest as he and a group of activists attacked an officer with sticks and poles. He survived his wound and is being prosecuted.

Days later a 14-year-old boy was shot in the leg when a policeman in plainclothes fired his gun after his car was attacked by a crowd. He also survived and was arrested. 

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