Tomb Raider Actor Stabbed On Stage at Chinese Event

Anna Fotyga

Anna Fotyga

In what police said was the "largest" seizure they have ever made, they also found the highly risky explosive substance, tri-acetone peroxide, or TATP, which gained notoriety after it was used in the deadly London bombings in 2005.

The public broadcaster RTHK said a 27-year-old man was arrested.

The pro-government demonstrators, mostly middle-aged or older, braved heavy rain and thunderstorms to gather at Tamar Park, next to the Legislative Council which protesters stormed and raided on July 1 - the 22nd anniversary of Hong Kong's handover from British to Chinese rule.

But Hong Kong protesters say this autonomy is being eroded amid greater encroachment by Beijing authorities.

Police estimated a turnout of 103,000 people at the peak of the rally, while local media cited organizers as saying 316,000 attended.

Earlier protests have often ended with police clashing with groups of protesters trying to occupy streets or refusing to disperse.

But while the pro-government protests have mustered decent crowds, they have paled in comparison with the huge pro-democracy marches that have regularly drawn hundreds of thousands of people.

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The fights followed larger outbreaks of violence between police and protesters in Central last month, with police forcing back activists with tear gas, rubber bullets and beanbag rounds.

A spokesman later said his wounds had been cleaned and he was recovering.

Saturday's edition of Hong Kong's staunchly pro-Beijing newspaper Ta Kung Pao ran a front page encouraging readers to join with the headline: "Kick away the violence".

He said the homemade explosive was very unstable and extremely powerful. TATP, or tri-acetone tri-peroxide, has been used in terrorist attacks worldwide.

McWhirter said his team had carried out at least one controlled explosion and expected to do more because the TATP they had discovered was volatile. The small fringe group released a statement on Facebook acknowledging the connection but added it had no knowledge of any explosives.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Apple Daily, citing unidentified sources, yesterday reported that about 30 protesters have already arrived in Taiwan to seek asylum, while as many as 30 others - and possibly more - are planning to try soon.

Hong Kong was returned from Britain to China in 1997 with assurances that it would have a semi-autonomous status for 50 years under the "One Country, Two Systems" principle.

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