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A police officer was stabbed in Hong Kong on Sunday, police officials said, in what appeared to be an escalation of the street violence that has gripped the city for months, as flash-mob gatherings unfolded across town.
The gatherings, in more than half of the semiautonomous Chinese territory’s 18 districts, were the first significant unrest since Hong Kong was convulsed by violence a week earlier over opposition to a ban on face masks at public gatherings.
The unrest included attacks on the subway system and on businesses that protesters perceive to be supportive of Beijing. The police force said on Sunday that a protester had stabbed one of its officers in the neck and that his condition was stable.
The rowdy gatherings on Sunday — coordinated via social media and encrypted messaging apps — highlighted the continuing opposition to the unpopular ban on wearing face masks and capped a momentous week in China’s relationship with the United States.
Relations between China and the United States were further strained last weekend when a Houston Rockets executive’s post on Twitter supporting Hong Kong’s protest movement infuriated people on the Chinese mainland. Beijing initially fanned nationalistic outrage, but later moved to tamp down public anger at the N.B.A. amid concerns that it was damaging the country’s international reputation.
The Hong Kong police said one of its officers had been slashed in the neck by a protester on Sunday evening with a “sharp-edged” object, and that two people were immediately arrested at the scene. Video of the incident circulating widely on social media appeared to show that the attack was unprovoked. The police said the officer was conscious when he arrived at a hospital.
The South China Morning Post newspaper also reported that a man who protesters suspected being an undercover officer was attacked on Sunday in the Tseung Kwan O district before other officers dispersed them.