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Riot Police Deployed As Protesters in Hong Kong Target Airport

HONG KONG – The riot police were deployed on Saturday in Hong Kong to thwart the pro-democracy protesters’ plan to target the airport during the movement’s first mass mobilization since the city’s chief made a concession earlier this week, AFP reported on Saturday.
Millions of pro-democracy supporters have been on the streets of Hong Kong for the last three months, which has become the biggest challenge to the Chinese regime since the transfer of the city to Britain in 1997.
On Wednesday, Carrie Lam surprised many by announcing she was suppressing an extremely unpopular extradition law that sparked widespread and sometimes violent rallies.
The withdrawal was one of the protesters’ key demands and she and Peking had previously refused to give in on the issue.
Lam, who was not directly elected but appointed by a largely Beijing-backed committee, described the initiative as an attempt to defuse tension and engage in dialogue.
However, protesters widely dismissed it as too little, too late after 14 weeks of clashes, with more than 1,100 arrests and many jail terms.
The online messaging forums used by the movement, largely composed of leaders, had called on protesters to “stress” the airport on Saturday afternoon, offering suggestions on how to disrupt the road and rail links leading at the terminals.
The police maintained a strong presence in the main bus, ferry and train terminals of the city. Many of them were already dressed in riot gear, mainly looking for bags of young people or checking their identity papers.
Some train and bus services to the airport provided more limited service in order to reduce the risk of a large number of protesters going to the airport, while officials advised travelers to allow extra time to take a flight.
The atmosphere was calm at the airport on Saturday afternoon, but passengers had to queue to have their luggage searched and boarding passes checked before they could enter.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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