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Breaking:Hong Kong protests, Mong Kok camp retaken from police


Pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong have retaken streets in the Mong Kok district, just hours after they were cleared by the authorities.

Activists clashed with police, as about 9,000 protesters re-occupied the area. At least 26 people have been arrested.

Demonstrators have been occupying parts of the city for weeks, angered at China’s curbs on who can stand in the next leadership election in 2017.

The government and students are due to hold talks on Tuesday.

Hong Kong Chief Secretary Carrie Lam said both sides would send five representatives to the negotiations.

Earlier this week the government called off planned talks saying they were impossible while the occupation of city streets continued.

Hong Kong leader CY Leung said on Thursday that he was ready for dialogue, but China would not retract its decision to vet candidates for the 2017 elections.

The talks were announced after overnight clashes in which dozens of people were wounded, including at least 15 police officers.

Protest group Occupy Central issued a statement (in Chinese) saying that the clearance operations ordered by the government had “triggered a new wave of occupations and worsened relations between police and citizens”.

Police Commissioner Andy Tsang said the protests were illegal and were “undermining the rule of law”.

The Mong Kok camp in Kowloon is an offshoot of the original protest site around government offices in Admiralty on Hong Kong Island.

Protesters and police have also been facing off the Admiralty district, although there are no reports of clashes.

Protester numbers have dropped off since the start of the month, when tens of thousands were on the streets.

But tensions escalated this week, with violent clashes as police cleared an underpass on Lung Wo Road near the chief executive’s offices.

A video showing plainclothes police officers beating an unarmed protester, who is a member of the pro-democracy Civic Party, also sparked outrage.

Police said seven officers had been suspended pending an investigation.

Source: BBC