Hong Kong police arrest 29 after overnight clashes, more protests planned

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Riot police detain an anti-extradition bill protester during a march demanding democracy and political reforms, at Wong Tai Sin, in Hong Kong, China August 24, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

HONG KONG, (DNA) — Hong Kong’s police said on Sunday (Aug 25) they arrested 29 people after clashes overnight in which volleys of tear gas were fired to disperse anti-government protesters, as the Asian financial hub braced for more demonstrations later in the day.The city’s rail operator, MTR Corp, announced it was suspending some services in the west of the territory due to public activities taking place in the area.Activists threw petrol bombs and bricks on Saturday in the gritty industrial district of Kwun Tong, a densely populated area of the Chinese territory on the east of the Kowloon peninsula. Four MTR subway stations were closed due to the protests.

Police used tear gas after some protesters threw Molotov cocktails and bricks and others tore up “smart” lamp posts equipped with surveillance cameras. Other demonstrators had set up roadblocks with bamboo scaffolding.

It was the first use of tear gas in more than a week after a series of mostly peaceful demonstrations in the former British colony.

The protests, which started over a now-suspended extradition bill and have evolved into demands for greater democracy, have rocked Hong Kong for three months and plunged the city into its biggest political crisis since its handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

The wider calls for democracy pose a direct challenge for Communist Party leaders in Beijing, who are eager to quell the protests ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on Oct 1.

Transport to the city’s international airport appeared normal early on Sunday, despite protesters’ plans for a day-long “stress test” of transport in the international aviation and financial hub.