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January 15, 2010

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HK police catch acid-throwing suspect

HONG Kong police said yesterday they have solved one of the recent string of acid attacks in the city, as they sought to reassure jittery citizens and tourists in the densely populated southern Chinese financial hub.

Since December 2008, more than 100 pedestrians have been injured by people dumping bottles of acid into crowded streets from buildings.

In the two most recent cases, suspects dropped acid onto pedestrians in the Causeway Bay shopping district on December 12, and on Temple Street last Saturday night.

The Temple Street attack was especially worrying to Hong Kong officials because it's a popular tourist spot known for its outdoor market and snack stalls.

On Wednesday, Hong Kong police arrested two suspects allegedly linked to the Causeway Bay attack, aged 18 and 23 respectively. They later freed the 18-year-old.

Yesterday morning, they canvassed the scene of the crime with the other suspect. Handcuffed and wearing a black hood, he was led along a narrow street behind a popular department store crammed with shops.

Police said they believe the 23-year-old tossed the acid and will charge him. "We have grounds to believe he is responsible for the offense," Senior superintendent Yu Tat-chung said.

Yu suggested a possible charge will be tossing corrosive liquid with an intent to injure - an offense that carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.


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