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Tue Aug 13, 2019, 12:22 PM

Chaos Grips Hong Kong's Airport as Police Clash with Protesters

HONG KONG — As antigovernment demonstrations continued to cripple Hong Kong’s airport, riot police, bearing batons and pepper spray, clashed with protesters, underscoring the deepening unrest gripping the city.

The chaos at the airport late Tuesday night — unprecedented in the Asian financial hub known for efficiency and order — came hours after mass protests forced the airport to suspend check-ins for the second consecutive day. The city’s embattled leader, Carrie Lam, had pleaded earlier for order after days of escalating street violence.

Thousands of demonstrators had occupied parts of Hong Kong International Airport’s departures and arrivals halls on Tuesday afternoon, with some using luggage trolleys to block travelers from reaching their departure gates. The Hong Kong Airport Authority later closed check-in services and advised all passengers to leave as soon as possible.

It was the second day in a row that demonstrators had seriously disrupted operations at the airport, one of the world’s busiest, and another sign that the two-month-old protest movement is turning to increasingly desperate measures, amid threats from Beijing and the refusal of Ms. Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, to meet their demands.


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