Newspaper article International New York Times

New Clashes amid Hong Kong Protests ; Both Sides Report Injuries after Demonstrators Push Back to Reclaim Streets

Newspaper article International New York Times

New Clashes amid Hong Kong Protests ; Both Sides Report Injuries after Demonstrators Push Back to Reclaim Streets

Article excerpt

Both sides reported injuries in confrontations after demonstrators regained ground earlier seized by police, as the protests entered their fourth week.

The police clashed with hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators in the densely populated Mong Kok neighborhood early Sunday in the second straight day of violence after protesters recaptured blocks of city streets from the police.

More than 100 police officers -- many with shields, batons and helmets -- faced off against an even greater number of demonstrators and their supporters on Nathan Road, one of Hong Kong's busiest shopping streets. The police turned a stretch of the southbound lanes of the thoroughfare into a parking lot for their vans and buses.

Officers advanced on the barricades just after midnight. At least three people were hurt, the police said in a statement, which also said that a police officer suffered a shoulder injury. Members of a first-aid station set up by protesters said several protesters were hurt.

The clashes erupted after demonstrators, who had been staging a sit-in in the area around the intersection for almost three weeks, were largely cleared out early Friday in a swift police operation. That backfired that evening and early Saturday, when thousands of demonstrators outnumbered the police, leading the officers to withdraw after clashes that the police say injured 15 officers and 26 protesters. The Mong Kok neighborhood is one of three in Hong Kong that for the past three weeks has been the site of demonstrations by people demanding democratic elections to choose Hong Kong's top leader, the chief executive.

The clash on Sunday morning followed an announcement on Saturday by Hong Kong's government that it would hold talks with student protest leaders on Tuesday, the start of a formal dialogue that could ease tensions.

Separately, in his first public comment since the start of the protests, Hong Kong's police commissioner, Andy Tsang, condemned "radical" protesters for charging the police line and said they had broken the law by gathering in Mong Kok on Friday. …

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