Hong Kong police fires water cannon at protesters for first time during clashes. (source: HKFP photo)
For the first time, the Hong Kong police fired water cannon at protesters during clashes on Sunday. While a large crowd rallied in a nearby park, another group of protesters took over a main street, building barricades with traffic barriers and cones and strewing bamboo poles on the pavement.
After hoisting warning flags, the police used tear gas to try to disperse the crowd. Protesters responded by throwing bricks and other objects toward the police, leaving the space in between them strewn with bricks.
Prior to the skirmishes, tens of thousands of umbrella-carrying protesters marched in the rain in Hong Kong's latest pro-democracy demonstration.
The march in an outlying community in Hong Kong's New Territories started near the Kwai Fong rail station, which has become a focal point of protesters after police used tear gas in the station earlier this month. Police with riot gear could be seen moving into position along the march route.
Protesters have taken to the semiautonomous Chinese territory's streets for more than two months. Their demands include democratic elections and an investigation into police use of force to quell the protests.
A large group clashed with police on Saturday after a march in the Kowloon Bay neighbourhood, building barricades and setting fires in the streets. Police said they arrested 29 people, ranging from 17 to 52 years old, for various offenses, including unlawful assembly, possession of offensive weapons and assaulting police officers.
The clashes, while not as prolonged or violent as some earlier ones, ended a brief lull in the violence. The protests had turned largely peaceful the previous weekend, after weeks of escalating violence.
In nearby Macao, another Chinese territory, a pro-Beijing committee chose a businessman as the gambling hub's next leader with little of the controversy surrounding the government in Hong Kong.
Ho Iat-seng, running unopposed, will succeed current leader Chui Sai-on in December. Asked about the protests in Hong Kong, the 62-year-old Ho said they would end eventually, like a major typhoon.
Protesters in Hong Kong have demanded that the city's leader, Carrie Lam, also chosen by a pro-Beijing committee, step down, though that demand has evolved into a broader call for fully democratic elections.
(With AFP inputs)