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Hundreds of protesters remain after mass retreat

2019-07-27 HKT 20:49
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  • Protesters were pushed back to the area outside Yuen Long MTR Station. Photo: RTHK
    Protesters were pushed back to the area outside Yuen Long MTR Station. Photo: RTHK
  • Protesters sitting down along the Light Rail tracks for a rest. Photo: RTHK
    Protesters sitting down along the Light Rail tracks for a rest. Photo: RTHK
  • Protesters rested near Yuen Long MTR Station after earlier clashes. Photo: RTHK
    Protesters rested near Yuen Long MTR Station after earlier clashes. Photo: RTHK
A police operation to clear the streets of Yuen Long led to a mass retreat by protesters on Saturday evening, but hundreds still remained outside Yuen Long MTR Station.

At around 7.30pm, black-clad demonstrators began streaming into the station to leave after a day which saw tens of thousands of people join an unauthorised march to protest over a violent gang attack on MTR passengers last Sunday.

The march lasted less than an hour and then standoffs ensued between protesters and police in several locations, before clashes broke out.

Tear gas was fired repeatedly by police in riot gear, while protesters responded in some cases by hurling bricks and other objects at officers.

By 8.30pm, the number of protesters had dwindled considerably. But the situation remained tense at times near the train station, with riot police and protesters in a standoff around Long Yip Street and Long Yat Road.

Around an hour later, tear gas was once again fired at protesters.

A large number of protesters had been resting on the tracks of the Light Rail network, with some train services suspended hours before due to the march.

A group of young protesters were seen arguing with a number of older men who told them they should go home. But the protesters refused, saying they were "prepared to die" on the streets.

The police had warned in advance that the protest action would be illegal, but their repeated reminders on Saturday night that the protesters were taking part in an illegal assembly went unheeded.

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Last updated: 2019-07-27 HKT 21:27