Tuesday, July 23, 2019 | ePaper

Hong Kong police use tear gas as protesters try to storm parliament

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Police used tear gas, pepper spray and batons to break up crowds. Internet photo

AFP  :
Violent clashes broke out in Hong Kong on Wednesday as police tried to stop protesters storming the city's parliament, while tens of thousands of people blocked key arteries in a show of strength against government plans to allow extraditions to China.
Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and batons to disperse crowds of black-clad demonstrators-most of them young people and students-calling for authorities to scrap the Beijing-backed law.
Clashes broke out shortly after 3:00 pm (0700 GMT) -- the deadline protesters had given for the government to abandon the controversial bill-and continued throughout the afternoon in the worst political violence the city has seen in years.
Rows of riot police battled protesters-many wearing face masks, helmets or goggles and using umbrellas as shields-who had gathered in the centre of the city ahead of a scheduled debate in the city's legislature.
That debate had to be rescheduled "to a later date" after huge crowds seized major roads outside the parliament.
The scenes echoed the pro-democracy "Umbrella Movement" of 2014 where protesters calling for greater democratic rights shut down swathes of the city for two months and battled police but won no concessions from Beijing.

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