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Protests disrupt air travel in Hong Kong for 2nd day

Last updated on: August 13, 2019 23:43 IST

Tensions ran high as police dressed in riot gear clashed with protesters at the international airport in Hong Kong on Tuesday. 

IMAGE: A police officer sprays pepper spray at anti-government protesters during clashes at the airport in Hong Kong. Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters

Protesters, who have been demonstrating at the airport for the second consecutive day, had barricaded themselves inside the premises as the police descended at the airport, according to CNN. The news outlet later reported that the police had started retreating from the airport. 

 

All outbound flights from Hong Kong were cancelled on Tuesday as protests gripped the international airport for a second straight day. Hordes of protesters descended at the pre-security departures area, forcing all check-in services to be suspended. 

IMAGE: Police clash with anti-government protesters at the airport in Hong Kong. Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters

Hong Kong's Airport Authority had earlier in the day said that incoming flights would continue.

While scores of protesters blocked check-in aisles from Tuesday afternoon, at least a thousand collected at the arrivals section of the airport, which is one of the busiest in the world.

IMAGE: Anti-government protesters sleep on the floor during a demonstration at Hong Kong Airport. Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters

A mass sit-in by the protesters was witnessed on Monday, while all flights in and out of the region were cancelled after 4 pm.

Hong Kong has been in the throes of protests since early June. The demonstrations were triggered by a now-suspended bill which would allow suspects to be extradited to China to face trial.

IMAGE: Anti-extradition bill protesters use trolleys to stop passengers from entering the security gates during a mass demonstration after a woman was shot in the eye, at the Hong Kong international airport. Photograph: Tyrone Siu/Reuters

Even though the bill has been suspended by local authorities, the protests have continued and taken on a more pro-democracy outlook. 

IMAGE: Anti-government protesters block the access to the departure gates, during a demonstration at Hong Kong Airport. Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters

Protesters have also demanded an inquiry into police authority and alleged brutality. Several clashes have taken place between protesters and the police ever since the beginning of the agitation.

China has criticised the protests, with one Chinese official alleging that the demonstrations have "begun to show signs of terrorism."

Source: ANI