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Iran Press TV

Hong Kong police fire teargas at protesters in tourist district

Iran Press TV

Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:33AM

Riot police in Hong Kong have used teargas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters gathering for an unauthorized rally in a tourist district at China's financial hub, which has been grappling with political unrest for months.

The violence broke out on Sunday after thousands of protesters – many wearing banned face masks – converged on the scenic district of Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong's Kowloon district to denounce what they call police brutality in the course of the months-long protests.

The protesters started shouting obscenities at the police before sporadic scuffles turned into all-out brawls.

Police were forced to use teargas, pepper spray and some rubber bullets in at least three different locations in the district as clashes escalated.

Security forces had earlier warned protesters against holding unsanctioned demonstrations in the district over concerns for the safety of tourists visiting the area.

Hong Kong protesters, witnesses said, built barricades and blocked roads during their routine rallies, with some using metal fencing from nearby luxury malls to block the "Avenue of Stars," a famous waterfront promenade in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Police said some of their officers were attacked with "hard objects and umbrellas."

The city has been rocked by a spate of turbulent street protests since June, when people – outraged by a proposed extradition bill – descended on the districts across the city. The bill was later withdrawn, but the protests continued and took on an increasingly violent form.

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.

The Chinese government says the United States and Britain have been fanning the flames of unrest in Hong Kong by supporting the protesters.

Hong Kong is currently in its fifth month of protests, which have plunged it into its biggest political crisis in decades and taken a heavy toll on the economy.

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