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Clashes erupt between riot police, protesters outside Hong Kong airport

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Agencies Hong Kong Aug 13, 2019, 09.13 PM (IST)

Violent clashes erupted outside Hong Kong airport on Tuesday evening as riot police tried to disperse protesters as authorities suspended check-ins at the international airport.

Reports said police used pepper spray in scuffles with protesters at Hong Kong airport. At least two protesters were detained, reports said.

Several police vehicles were blocked by protesters, and riot police moved in, pushing some protesters back and using pepper spray at times.

The airport authority said in a statement that a public assembly had blocked passageways to the airport's restricted area, blocking passengers from proceeding to immigration.

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Hong Kong's airport authority said operations at the city's international airport was being "seriously disrupted" by public assembly.    

Earlier on Tuesday, Hong Kong authorities suspended all check-in services as protests escalated inside the airport. In a similar move on Monday, airport authorities had cancelled all flights in Hong Kong airport as anti-government protests entered the fourth day.

Meanwhile, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights urged Hong Kong to exercise restraint and investigate evidence of its forces firing tear gas at protesters in ways banned under international law.
"Take a minute to look at our city, our home," Chief Executive Carrie Lam said, her voice cracking, at a news conference in the government headquarters complex, which is fortified behind 6-foot (1.8-m) -high water-filled barricades.

"Can we bear to push it into the abyss and see it smashed to pieces?"