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Iran Press TV

Hong Kong financial center paralyzed by protesters

Iran Press TV

Tue Nov 12, 2019 07:33AM

Thousands of protesters have converged on Hong Kong's central business district, facing off with police and bringing the city to a standstill.

Black-clad protesters struck the city's transport network, as most schools and universities remained closed for a second day over safety fears on Tuesday.

Early in the day, riot police fired tear gas at City University, where a standoff was underway between students and police throughout the morning.

Overnight, clashes erupted there between police and protesters and officers made an arrest outside one of the university's residences.

Masked protesters also blocked a main road by dropping objects from a footbridge.

At the Polytechnic University, police also had to fire tear gas as clashes broke out there as well.

Several universities had already suspended classes on Monday due to the unrest.

The protests brought rail services to a standstill and closed roads across the Asian financial hub.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam censured the protesters for "paralyzing" the city on Tuesday.

During a regular media address, she said that her government was still doing its best to hold a fair, safe, and orderly district council election, scheduled for later this month.

Protests entered a new phase on Monday after a masked protester was hit by a live bullet and "rioters" poured "flammable liquid" on a man and set him on fire.

Police said both were critically wounded.

US calls for restraint 'on all sides'

The US was on Monday forced to take a stand against the violence by the rioters in Hong Kong. In a formal, though passing reference to the protesters, the US State Department called for restraint.

"We condemn violence on all sides, extend our sympathies to victims of violence regardless of their political inclinations, and call for all parties – police and protesters – to exercise restraint," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.

Until now, the US had been uniformly expressing support for the protesters.

Hong Kong police have arrested more than 3,000 people since the protests began in June, initially in response to a proposed extradition bill. The bill was later withdrawn, but the protests continued and took on increasingly violent forms.

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