Hong Kong protests rage after day of heavy violence, arrests

Riot police stormed through the heart of Hong Kong’s financial district on Tuesday, deploying tear gas and making arrests as they tried to clear the streets where thousands of anti-government protesters had turned out.

Office workers in professional clothing stood alongside black-clad protesters holding umbrellas and wearing goggles as they faced off with riot police who removed barricades set by front-line protesters.

Earlier in the day, clashes erupted at universities across the city, including Chinese University of Hong Kong in Sha Tin district, where police fired tear gas before 8 am (00:00 GMT) and students came armed with sporting equipment including bows and arrows.

Meanwhile, the transport network was disrupted as protesters built traffic barricades and vandalised buses.

Commuters were forced to vacate trains near the City University and walk for up to 30 minutes to the nearest alternative transportation after objects were found on the train tracks, according to the South China Morning Post.

Heavy clashes on Monday left a protester and a pro-government man in critical condition as tear gas and rubber bullets rained down on protesters who wreaked havoc throughout the city, in a severe escalation of violence after months of protests.

Police said that 287 people were arrested on Monday, 187 of whom were students.

The Hong Kong protests erupted over a now-suspended extradition bill that would have allowed Hong Kong residents to be extradited to China.

The demands of the movement later grew to include universal suffrage and an independent inquiry into police violence against protesters. (dpa/NAN)

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