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Protesters clash with security forces in Hong Kong ahead of China’s national day

This file photo, taken on September 15, 2019, shows protesters running past a fire during clashes with riot police in Hong Kong. (By AFP)

Protesters in Hong Kong have once again clashed with security forces, shortly after a night of violence in the semi-autonomous Chinese region.

Police used pepper spray to break up protesters in the Causeway Bay shopping district in Hong Kong on Sunday.

Earlier, on Saturday night, protesters blocked a major road near the local headquarters of China’s People’s Liberation Army.

Thousands of protesters had gathered at Admiralty district to mark the fifth anniversary of protests in the city, which gridlocked streets for 79 days in 2014.

Later into the night, and following a frequent pattern in the past weeks, the protesters engaged in violent behavior by throwing Molotov cocktails and rocks at security forces and breaking windows of government offices.

Police was forced to fire tear gas and water cannon to disperse the rioters.

Protests started in Hong Kong in June against a then-proposed extradition law — since withdrawn — that would have allowed the extradition of suspected criminals to mainland China for trial.

The government of the semi-autonomous Chinese region has opened talks with protesters but has cautioned that violence must end.

Hong Kong has been governed under a “one-country, two-system” model since the city — a former British colony — was returned to China in 1997.

China has accused foreign governments, including the United States and Britain in particular, of provoking unrest in Hong Kong.

Some of the protesters have been seen carrying British flags during rallies.

The developments come ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1.


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