Early Monday morning, firebombs were thrown at the Hong Kong headquarters of Next Media Group and the home of its owner, Jimmy Lai, an outspoken advocate of recent pro-democracy marches.
Lai has been investigated for donations connected to the pro-democracy camp, and was the target of a 2009 murder plot. Police are attempting to figure out if the firebombing was connected to the suspected theft of newspapers from a Hong Kong newsstand, The New York Times reports. A newspaper owned by Next Media Group, the pro-democracy The Apple Daily, reported that its newspapers were the ones that had been stolen. And deepening the mystery, an officer investigating the theft climbed into a van, and after he was thrown out he fired his gun at the vehicle. Police wouldn't comment on whether that incident was linked to the bombing.
Lai's aide, Mark Simon, told the Times no one was injured by the firebombs and there was little property damage. "It's just extremely disappointing that basically the only thing they got left is violence," he said. "That's the case being made against peaceful democracy and civil disobedience. Nobody is making the argument anymore. They're just throwing firebombs."