Fresh assault on Hong Kong journalists

File photo: Kevin Lau Kevin Lau is still in hospital after being attacked with a cleaver in a previous incident

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Masked men armed with metal bars have attacked and injured two newspaper executives on the street in Hong Kong, sparking fresh concern about press freedom.

The victims work for the Hong Kong Morning News, which is being launched later this year.

The four attackers fled in a car.

The incident happened on the day police charged two men following the stabbing of a former editor, Kevin Lau, in an attack in February.

Hong Kong's Foreign Correspondents' Club said: "This latest incident only underscores the deepening shadows being cast over the media landscape in Hong Kong from violence, intimidation and interference by political and commercial interests."

Press freedom threatened?

According to the club, the two injured journalists were Lei Lun-han, vice-president and director of Hong Kong Morning News, and the company's senior executive, Lam Kin-ming.

The attack took place in Tsim Sha Tsui, a tourist area in Hong Kong. Both victims were taken to hospital for treatment.

This incident comes after Mr Lau, the former editor of the newspaper Ming Pao, was hacked with a cleaver in broad daylight. He remains in hospital with serious injuries.

Two 37-year-old men thought to be involved were handed over to the police in Hong Kong on Monday by the authorities on the Chinese mainland. They were both charged on Wednesday with wounding.

The attack on Mr Lau led to a protest by people who wanted to condemn the assault and express their fears that press freedom is under attack in the former British colony.

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