26 arrested in Hong Kong clashes
Hong Kong: Hong Kong police Saturday said that 26 people were arrested and at least 15 police officers injured after a night of clashes for control of Mong Kok, one of the main demonstration areas.
Hundreds of police officers removed barricades in Mong Kok Friday morning where the Occupy Central movement participants had blockaded roads and streets since Sep 28, Xinhua reported.
Temporary calm was restored in the area, although Nathan Road is still occupied by protesters.
Police said that protesters were attempting to reclaim streets partly cleared by the police.
Hong Kong police strongly condemned protesters who were illegally occupying a section of the south-bound lanes of Nathan Road in Mong Kok, as well as attempting to occupy the north-bound lanes and charging police cordons.
Police said up to 9,000 people gathered at the scene and such acts were seriously undermining public order and safety.
They also warned protesters to stop charging police.
After repeated advice and warnings to the protesters, police said that they started using pepper spray to stop them from such acts.
Police reiterated that they would take resolute enforcement actions against any illegal acts endangering public order and safety.
The Occupy Central area in Mong Kok is across the Victoria Harbour from the main demonstration areas near the region's government headquarters in Admiralty and commercial area in Causeway Bay.
Protestors' demands include a call for the resignation or removal of the Chief Executive of the special administrative region of Hong Kong, C.Y. Leung, widely seen as Beijing's puppet.
They also are seeking guarantees that Hong Kong citizens can freely vote in 2017 from an unrestricted list of candidates, as Beijing promised when Britain handed over control of the territory in 1997.