Hong Kong police shoot, critically wound protester

IMAGE: Protests in Hong Kong
Police detain a protester in Hong Kong on Monday. Copyright Dita Alangkara
By Alex Johnson and Ed Flanagan with NBC News World News
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An unidentified demonstrator was undergoing surgery in critical condition in Chan Wai district, the hospital told NBC News.

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Police shot and critically wounded a demonstrator during the increasingly violent anti-government demonstrations across Hong Kong, authorities said Monday.

The protester underwent surgery Monday at Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital in the Chan Wai district, the hospital told NBC News. No further information on the man was immediately available.

Hong Kong police confirmed that "one male was shot" when an officer fired his service weapon during one of several demonstrations across the island "due to the rioters' extensive illegal acts."

They didn't say where the shooting occurred, but at least three gunshots were heard in Sai Wan Ho on northeastern Hong Kong Island at about 7:30 a.m. Monday.

Police scheduled a news conference for later in the day.

Anti-government demonstrations have riven Hong Kong for almost six months, having started in June as a series of protests triggered by an extradition bill that was later withdrawn.

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The protests have since widened to include calls for greater democratic freedoms amid fears of China's increased control over the territory.

A college student became the first person to die in the protests on Friday, four days after he fell in a multi-story parking lot as police used tear gas on demonstrators in the area.

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