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Hong Kong police use pepper spray, beat back protestors

Violence flared anew as Hong Kong police and protesters clashed again early today.

Dozens of officers in riot gear used pepper spray on activists in ugly scenes during pro-democracy demonstrations, which began more than a fortnight ago.

Police also used batons and their gloved fists to beat back protesters guarding newly erected barricades on a main road next to the city’s embattled government headquarters, wire agency AFP reported.

The violence was among the worst seen since the start of intermittent rallies, where huge crowds called for Beijing to grant Hong Kong the right to hold unfettered leadership elections.

Police officers advance on pro-democracy protester to clear them out of an area near the central government offices in Hong Kong. Photo: AFP

While the activists have been praised for their civility and organisational skills, they have also brought widespread disruption to the financial hub.

Businesses are upset about the disruption to key traffic arteries on Hong Kong’s main island.

A wall of police marched on demonstrators clutching the umbrellas that have become emblematic of the fight for full democracy in the financial hub.

The cops reportedly struck protesters and shoved them to the ground.

 A pro-democracy protester takes cover behind an umbrella as police advance near the central government offices in Hong Kong. Photo: AFP

Protesters alleged the pepper spray was used indiscriminately and without warning.

Within an hour police had regained control of Lung Wo road, which sits just metres from the offices of Hong Kong’s embattled Chief Executive Leung Chin-Ying and which was occupied by protesters earlier on Tuesday. - AFP

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