Protesters to choke travel routes in Hong Kong; flight disruptions likely

Protesters to choke travel routes in Hong Kong; flight disruptions likely

Agency News

Hong Kong, 01 Sept, 2019: As the Protest organizers have urged the people to choke all travel routes including all roads and rail links to airports on Sunday and Monday.

Experts predict potential disruptions on flights from Hong Kong airport once again after many flights were delayed or canceled after protesters swarmed the airport three weeks ago. Saturday night was a chaotic one of running battles between police and masked protesters. Late on Saturday and into the early hours, police fired tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets and protesters threw petrol bombs, escalating clashes that have plunged the Asian financial center into its worst political crisis in decades. With this, once again the Hong Kong, the Chinese-ruled city hit with the wave of unrest.

People would begin gathering at 1 p.m. (0500 GMT), protest groups said. The airport closed one of its car parks and advised passengers to use public transport, without giving a reason.

As government helicopters hovered overhead, protesters who had been banned from demonstrating set fires in the streets and threw bricks at police near government offices and Chinese military headquarters.

Officers fired two warning shots in the air to scare off a group of protesters who had them surrounded and were trying to steal their pistols, the police said, only the second time live rounds have been used in more than three months of unrest.

Police sprayed demonstrators with blue-dyed water to make it easier to identify them later. Parts of the metro system ground to a halt as skirmishes spread to the subway, with television showing images of people being beaten as they cowered on the floor behind umbrellas.

Police said they arrested 40 people inside Prince Edward metro station on suspicion of obstructing officers, unlawful assembly and criminal damage. Three stations stayed shut on Sunday.

The unrest poses the gravest challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping since he took power in 2012, with his government keen to end the protests before the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on Oct 1.