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Hong Kong police fire tear gas at protesters as violence flares at anti-government rally

Hong Kong protests
Thousands of pro-democracy protesters have been marching in Hong Kong (Picture: Getty)

Hong Kong police fired tear gas at protesters gathered outside government headquarters in a major escalation of violence in the city.

Tens of thousands of people had defied a ban to rally for democracy through the streets on Saturday.

A handful of protesters started fires and threw rocks and petrol bombs towards police, who were separated from the crowds by barriers.

Officers fired tear gas and water cannon as the unrest now enters its fifth month.

epa07806173 Protesters with their umbrellas react after police fired tear gas during an anti-government rally in Hong Kong, China, 31 August 2019. Hong Kong has been gripped by mass protests since June over a now-suspended extradition bill to China that have morphed into a wider anti-government movement. EPA/JEON HEON-KYUN
Protesters with their umbrellas react after police fired tear gas during an anti-government rally in Hong Kong, China (Picture: EPA)

epa07806148 Protesters wearing gas masks react after police fired tear gas during an anti-government rally in Hong Kong, China, 31 August 2019. Hong Kong has been gripped by mass protests since June over a now-suspended extradition bill to China that have morphed into a wider anti-government movement. EPA/JEON HEON-KYUN

Protesters wearing gas masks react after police fired tear gas (Picture: EPA)

Since April, millions of people have taken to the streets and police have clashed with small groups of hardcore protesters.

It is the worst crisis since Hong Kong reverted from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

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Under the handover agreement, a one country, two systems legal framework was secured for Hong Kong.

It allowed for far greater civil liberties than on the mainland but protesters say they are being eroded as Chinese interference grows.

The unrest was sparked by opposition to a now-suspended bill that would have allowed the extradition of suspects for trial in mainland China.

Demonstrators have five demands, including the complete withdrawal of the extradition bill and the right to elect their own leader.

epa07806149 Protesters wearing gas masks react after police fired tear gas during an anti-government rally in Hong Kong, China, <a href=https://metro.co.uk/2019/08/31/hong-kong-police-fire-tear-gas-protesters-violence-flares-anti-government-rally-10661608/>Read More – Source</a></p>
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