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Thugs disrupt Hong Kong protest

/ 06:14 AM October 05, 2014
Protesters raises a placard with a deface picture of Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying outside a flag-raising ceremony where Hong Kong's embattled leader attended in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014, to mark China's National Day. Leung attended the flag-raising ceremony Wednesday to mark China's National Day after refusing to meet pro-democracy demonstrators despite their threats to expand the street protests that have posed the stiffest challenge to Beijing's authority since China took control of the former British colony in 1997. The Chinese words read " Step Down " (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Protesters raises a placard with a deface picture of Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying outside a flag-raising ceremony where Hong Kong’s embattled leader attended in Hong Kong. AP

HONG KONG—Hong Kong arrested 19 people, some believed to have organized crime ties, during a night of running brawls stretching into Saturday as police denied the government had used triad gangs against prodemocracy protesters after accusations hired thugs had been brought in to stir up violent clashes.

At least 12 people and six officers were injured during the clashes, Senior Supt. Patrick Kwok Pak-chung said.

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Protest leaders called off planned talks with the government on political reforms after the battles kicked off Friday afternoon in gritty, blue-collar Mong Kok, across Victoria Harbor from the activists’ main protest camp.

Police struggled for hours to control the battles as attackers pushed, shoved and jeered the protesters. Reports from AP and AFP

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TAGS: Activists, Hong Kong, protest
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