Riot police fired tear gas and rubber bullets on Sunday evening to disperse pro-democracy protesters close to Beijing’s office in Hong Kong, plunging the financial hub deeper into crisis.
The clashes are the second consecutive day of violence in a city reeling from weeks of anti-government protests that show no sign of abating.
Sunday’s melees took place in a well-heeled residential district close to the Liaison Office, which represents Beijing in the semi-autonomous hub and which was pelted with eggs and paint last week.
Police and protesters had been engaged in a tense standoff for hours after tens of thousands of demonstrators held a series of unsanctioned marches through the city.
A group of some 200 protesters had made their way towards the Liaison Office in Sheung Wan district where they met a phalanx of riot police calling for the crowds to end their “illegal assembly”.
Eventually, tear gas and rubber bullets were fired at demonstrators who responded with volleys of stones as baton-wielding riot police charged and pushed the crowds back down the street.
Hong Kong has been plunged into its worst crisis in recent history after millions of demonstrators took to the streets and sporadic violent confrontations erupted between police and hardcore protesters.