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Friday, October 17, 2014, 15:51

Clashes break out in Mong Kok protest site

By Timothy Chui /
 Clashes break out in Mong Kok protest site

Riot police stand guard against protesters in Mong Kok on Oct 17, 2014. (Roy Liu / China Daily)

 Clashes break out in Mong Kok protest site

Policemen clear a road previously occupied by pro-democracy protesters in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong on Oct 17, 2014. (AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones)

HONG KONG - Riot police used pepper spray to disperse protesters in Mong Kok as flash clashes broke out in a Nathan Road protest site Friday evening.

Police closed a northbound lane of Nathan Road as more and more protesters started to gather near Wai Fung Plaza at around 7:30 pm. Some of them began to clash with police officers under crowded condition. Police used pepper spray and batons to fend off the crowd and took away some demonstrators.

Earlier in the morning, three-way traffic at the district's busiest intersection resumed after a police operation at dawn. However, southbound traffic at the junction of Nathan Road and Argyle Street remains blocked by illegal protesters.

Police removed barricades set up by protesters at the intersection after weeks of tolerance. The force deployed mobile cranes and cleared from the area fences, tents as well as a central tarp which managed to weather several removal attempts.

Around 200 protesters returned shortly before noon to reoccupy the south side of the intersection, which remains closed to traffic.

Senior Superintendent Catherine Kwan Chui-chuing said the force would now take immediate action to remove road blocks. She said protesters will be allowed to remain on site.

Protesters have continued to test the resolve of the force to maintain open roads, with a group of protesters attempting to reoccupy Lung Wo Road in Admiralty, which was already the scene of a short-lived blockade Wednesday evening.

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