Asia-Pacific

Hong Kong riot police, protesters clash in mall in latest anti-extradition violence

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Police used pepper spray and batons against protesters who took over a road.

Riot police and protesters fought running battles in a Hong Kong shopping mall on Sunday night as unrest caused by a widely loathed plan to allow extraditions to mainland China showed no sign of abating.

Police used pepper spray and batons against small groups of protesters, who responded by hurling bottles and other projectiles, in a night of fresh violence in the international hub.

Protesters with umbrellas use steel barricades to block a road as they march through Sha Tin District in Hong Kong.

Sunday's clashes took place at the end of another huge rally -- this time in Sha Tin a district that lies between the main urban sprawl around the harbour and the Chinese border.

Violence broke out briefly in the afternoon after the rally as protesters seized a junction and built barricades, causing an hours-long stand-off with riot police.

A protester is tackled by police after a scuffle inside a shopping mall in Sha Tin District in Hong Kong.
A protester is tackled by police after a scuffle inside a shopping mall in Sha Tin District in Hong Kong.
AP

But the worst clashes happened late evening inside a shopping mall where hundreds of protesters fled after police moved on the barricades and then charged into the shopping complex, AFP reporters on the scene said.

Protesters are bracing for clashes with police. They use barricades of dismantled metal sidewalk fencing and set them up to make police movement more difficult. Here seen moving a piece into place. A common tactic at this point after weeks of protest. #HongKongProtest pic.twitter.com/8DvvLjHAoc

— Matt Rivers (@MattRiversCNN) July 14, 2019

Once inside, chaos erupted as police found themselves pelted from above.

At least one officer was seen knocked unconscious and there was blood on the floor of the mall. Police with shields and batons charged up to higher floors and made multiple arrests in a building filled with luxury fashion stores.  

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Lin Evlin reports on hong kong protest turning violent
Lin Evlin reports on hong kong protest turning violent

Volunteer medics were also seen to be giving aid to a protester who collapsed.

A journalist holds a placard displaying a clash police had with media to demand police to stop obstructing reporting in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has been rocked by more than a month of huge largely peaceful protests -- as well as a series of separate violent confrontations with police -- sparked by a law that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China and other countries.

Last month, parliament was trashed by hundreds of masked, youth-led protesters in unprecedented scenes.

The bill has since been suspended, but that has done little to quell public anger which has evolved into a wider movement calling for democratic reforms, universal suffrage and a halt to sliding freedoms in the semi-autonomous hub.

Protesters are also demanding the bill be scrapped entirely, an independent inquiry into police use of tear gas and rubber bullets, an amnesty for those arrested, and for the city's unelected leader Carrie Lam to step down.

Police in Hong Kong have fought with protesters as they broke up a demonstration by thousands of people.
Police in Hong Kong have fought with protesters as they broke up a demonstration by thousands of people.
AP

Tens of thousands marched through Sha Tin on Sunday, the fifth week in a row that Hong Kong has seen such huge rallies. 

Almost all have ended with violence between police and a minority of hardcore protesters.

"We have marched so many times but the government still didn't listen, forcing everyone to take to the street," Tony Wong, a 24-year-old protester on the Sha Tin march, told AFP.

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