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Peaceful demonstrations turn violent as Hong Kong protesters clash with police

Viola Gaskell, DPA on

Published in News & Features

HONG KONG -- Demonstrations in Hong Kong on Saturday marked the two-month anniversary of attacks by armed thugs at a train station -- an incident that galvanized the monthslong protest movement and prompted demands for inquiries into police violence.

The protests began with a march in the satellite town of Tuen Mun, where riot police fired tear gas at hundreds of anti-government protesters, who fled down side streets and into surrounding shopping malls.

Demonstrators later moved to the Yoho Mall shopping complex in the nearby town of Yuen Long, where they marked the anniversary of what they have dubbed the "Yuen Long terrorist attack."

During the incident in July, men in white T-shirts beat unarmed protesters with sticks and metal rods in the mall's adjoining train station.

The men in white are widely thought to be associated with the Triads, a gang operative based in Hong Kong and South China. Demonstrators sharply criticized police for not coming to the aid of protesters that day.

A group of around 400 sang the protest song "Glory to Hong Kong" and chanted call-and-response anthems of the movement "Stand with Hong Kong! Fight for freedom! and "Five demands! Not one less!"

 

Violence broke out later as protesters threw gasoline bombs and police fired tear gas and made arrests. Police responded after some protesters built barricades outside the mall to block traffic.

As riot police arrived, one protester threw a gasoline bomb underneath a police vehicle that drove away as it burst into flames.

Operations to disperse the crowds were also carried out in the urban districts of Mong Kok, according to the Hong Kong Police Facebook page.

Earlier in Tuen Mun, protesters dressed in gas masks, hard hats and long-sleeve black shirts built barricades out of street rails and other materials, breaking apart pavements to gather bricks that they carted to the frontline in shopping carts.

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