Video footage of a pregnant woman being attacked in Hong Kong has emerged online.
The video was taken during the attack on pro-democracy protesters by an allegedly triad-linked mob in a train station on July 21.
Pregnant woman attacked
In the video, the mother-to-be can be seen clinging onto a man dressed in black.
The Daily Mail reported that the man was believed to be her husband and that she was trying to protect him from the attackers.
Two men dressed in white then attack the couple before the woman falls to the ground.
A group of attackers surrounds her husband, proceeding to beat him with various weapons.
Fortunately for the woman, four individuals stepped in to protect her from further attacks.
They then attended to her as she laid on the floor amidst the chaos.
According to the Daily Mail, she was later treated by paramedics and is believed to be in a stable condition.
However, there has also been some dispute as to whether the woman was actually pregnant.
According to RTHK, a spokesperson from the hospital authorities has said that no emergency rooms in public hospitals treated any patients for miscarriage nor was a pregnant woman admitted to a public hospital on the night of the attack.
Female reporter attacked
The video also showed a female reporter being chased and attacked by a man dressed in a pink shirt and blue jeans.
Seemingly angry that she was filming him, the man pursued the reporter and beat her with a stick.
The woman fell to the ground and her attacker was eventually stopped by another woman dressed in black.
Similar to 2014
Delving deeper into the attacks, the BBC quoted Federico Varese, a professor of criminology and expert on organised crime at the University of Oxford, as saying that the latest Sunday night July 21 attacks appeared to be a "carbon copy of what happened in 2014".
Varese was referring to the 2014 Yellow Umbrella protests, which also saw pro-democracy protesters attacked in the working-class district of Mong Kok by triad-linked assailants.
He had studied the 2014 attacks with Rebecca Wong, a professor at City University of Hong Kong.
The pair interviewed eyewitnesses and two people with triad links — one of them being a senior triad member — and concluded that the attackers were in fact affiliated with triads and that they had been paid to attack the protesters.
Informants had also told the researchers that the triads were paid by "business interests" that may have been trying to curry favour the Chinese government.
A report published by Varese and Wong said that triads in Hong Kong may have a new role as an "enforcer of unpopular policies and repression of democratic protests".
2019 is more serious
While noting the similarity between the 2014 and 2019 incidents, Varese also said that the recent attacks appeared to be "more serious" as passers-by — such as the pregnant woman — were also attacked.
According to Varese, attackers were looking to scare and intimidate protesters, rather than kill anyone.
He said: "I think it's a deliberate tactic because if they wanted to kill they would kill, although triads are not known to use lethal violence."
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