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Hong Kong protests: Police fire tear gas, shut down subway

By Danielle Haynes
Riot police fire tear gas to disperse protesters taking part in a rally against police brutality in Hong Kong on Sunday. Photo by Jerome Favre/EPA-EFE
Riot police fire tear gas to disperse protesters taking part in a rally against police brutality in Hong Kong on Sunday. Photo by Jerome Favre/EPA-EFE

July 28 (UPI) -- Police in Hong Kong fired tear gas at demonstrators Sunday, the second consecutive day of clashes with pro-democracy protesters who gathered at locations along northern Hong Kong Island.

The demonstrators took over streets in Sai Wan, Causeway Bay and Sheung Wan, communities along the northern coast of the island. Police attempted to move the protesters toward the east, while the protesters called for people gathering on side streets to consolidate and help erect barriers.

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Eight weeks of protests over a controversial bill -- which would allow for some fugitives from mainland justice to be sent to Beijing for trial -- escalated into violence this weekend. On Saturday, dozens of protesters sustained injuries and police made arrests.

Though the protests began specifically over the extradition law, it has since expanded to be more generally anti-government, with demonstrators decrying alleged police brutality in response to the protests.

Protesters wore helmets and gas masks Sunday to protect themselves from tear gas and rubber bullets.

Police said much of Sunday's protests were illegal because only a sit-in at Chater Gardens had been authorized. Officials shut down subway and ferry services. CNN reported the temporary subway service suspension left people stranded, including families not involved in the protests. Some children have been affected by the tear gas in the air.

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Protesters responded to police by throwing eggs and pouring cooking oil on the streets to make them slippery, CNN said.

Hong Kong police accused the protesters of being more violent.

"As some protesters were throwing bricks at the police officers and the situation is deteriorating, the police is now conducting a dispersal operation eastward with tear gas used. The police appeal to the protesters to leave the area at once and not charge police cordon lines. Members of the public should avoid traveling to the area," police said in a statement.

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