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Chaos returns to HK as police fire tear gas, water cannons

HONG KONG: Hong Kong riot police fired tear gas and water cannons at hardcore pro-democracy protesters who were hurling rocks and petrol bombs yesterday, tipping the violence-plagued city back into chaos after a brief lull in clashes.

Tens of thousands of people defied the authorities to march through the streets in an unsanctioned rally, the latest expression of a revolt that has raged for the last 99 days.

But the rally descended into violence when small groups of hardcore activists - known within the movement as the "braves" - tried to attack the main government complex.

Police fired repeated volleys of tear gas and deployed water cannon trucks after Molotov cocktails and rocks were thrown over security barriers surrounding the complex, which has become a frequent flashpoint in the ongoing protests.

Earlier yesterday, protesters rallied outside Britain's consulate in Hong Kong, demanding that London do more to protect its former colonial subjects and ramp up pressure on Beijing over sliding freedoms. Demonstrators sang God Save The Queen and Rule Britannia outside the consulate, waving the Union Jack as well as Hong Kong's colonial-era flags. - AFP

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