- During clashes with protesters on Sunday, vehicle stopped and sprayed blue dye at the Tsim Sha Tsui venue
- Leader and police chief meet community representatives, who accept apology, urging calm among local Muslims
Hong Kong's beleaguered leader and police force have apologised to the local Islamic community for spraying the entrance to the city's biggest mosque with blue solution from a water cannon while dealing with anti-government protests at the weekend.
They insisted the soaking at Kowloon Mosque was an accident, according to the community representatives.
Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and Stephen Lo Wai-chung visited the place of worship a day after disturbances erupted in Tsim Sha Tsui and neighbouring areas.
On Sunday, protesters took over roads and vandalised property across Kowloon as the unrest " sparked by opposition to a since-withdrawn extradition bill " entered its 20th straight weekend.
The force came under fire after the water cannon truck stopped and sprayed a solution laced with blue dye over the Nathan Road mosque's entrance and front steps.
The colouring is intended to make it easier to catch frontline protesters after a crowd disperses. Officers categorised it as an accident and did not immediately offer an apology in a statement later that evening.
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But on Monday, Lam and Lo met members of the Islamic Trust, a local community group, at the mosque. When Lam left after a 25-minute meeting, onlookers chanted "Five demands and not one less" and "Shame on Carrie Lam".
Neither she nor Lo took questions from reporters.
Said Uddin, secretary of the trust, said: "The chief executive and police commissioner all said, 'A mistake has been done and we are sorry for that.'
"And we accept (that), because what's done is done … and they will not repeat it."
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The fund's chairman, Zoheir Tyebkhan, said: "They sincerely apologised, and said it was not intentional."
He added that the group would urge calm among the local Islamic community.
"This is our home, everybody's home, we want it to be what it was," he said.
"The point is the Muslim community in Hong Kong, I think the police is well aware, that we are very peaceful and we do not involve ourselves in anything. There is no reason for them to storm the mosque."
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