19 arrested over clashes in Hong Kong

Hong Kong's Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok Saturday said that 19 people were arrested Friday when clashes broke out between Occupy Central protesters and anti-Occupy people.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong's Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok Saturday said that 19 people were arrested Friday when clashes broke out between Occupy Central protesters and anti-Occupy people.

There clashes occurred in Mong Kok and Causeway Bay, two major commercial areas of Hong Kong, from Friday afternoon to early Saturday morning, leaving some citizens and police officers injured, Xinhua reported.

With regard to queries that the police were not capable of handling the clashes in time, Lai explained that as the crowd grew bigger in Mong Kok, fights got scattered in different locations, making it difficult for the police to deal with them.

Of the 19 people arrested, eight of them are suspected to have triad backgrounds.

"We do not approve any of this violence. Hong Kong is a lawful society. Every citizen in Hong Kong should abide by the law. Nobody wishes to see what has happened yesterday," he said, adding that the police would enforce the law with patience.

Witnesses said the clashes broke out when anti-protest residents began to dismantle the tents and barricades put up in the streets by the protesters, who are demanding the government implement universal suffrage in municipal elections in 2017 and the removal of Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying.

On Thursday, the government offered to negotiate with the protesters.

Leung, however, said that he would not resign, adding that he would continue to work for promoting Hong Kong's constitutional reforms.

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