Hong Kong’s Lunar New Year party descended into disorderly scenes as police and protesters, who fired warning shots to the air, battled over a street market selling fishballs as well as other local vacation delicacies, with dozens detained and injured.
Protesters pelted officers with other bits of debris, glass bottles as well as paving stones. Some threw wood, plastic security obstacles and garbage cans from transport pallets. Fires were also set by them on the road.
Four reporters and more than 80 policemen were damage, he said.
Fires began police cars and public property were damaged and bricks and other items thrown at police officers, including those injured and lying on the floor, Leung said.
“I consider the people can see for themselves from TV news reports the severity of the problem. The (Hong Kong) authorities strongly condemns such violent actions.
Officials said they were investigating if the violence was arranged beforehand.
At one point, before both sides run into the melee in the centre of a busy road, a protester attempted to handle a traffic police officer from behind, in accordance with footage shown by local news station Cable TV. Minutes later, another policeman seemed to fire two warning shots to the air.
Hong Kong authorities said in a statement the protesters had ignored their warnings to get off the road and shoved policemen, who reacted with pepper spray and batons.
Acting District Commander Yau Siu-kei said one woman plus 23 guys were detained on suspicion of obstructing and assaulting officers, resisting arrest and public disorder. The detained were not as old as 17 and as old.
The unrest began when authorities attempted to prevent unlicensed street food sellers night in Mong Kok, a working class district of the town. The hawkers are becoming an area convention throughout the Lunar New Year holiday but this year authorities attempted to remove them.
The most recent scuffles underscore pressures remain open greater than a year following the conclusion of pro-democracy demonstrations that gripped the city. Mong Kok, a popular and thickly inhabited shopping and entertainment district, was among the neighborhoods where activists inhabited roads for around 11 weeks capturing world headlines using their demands for greater electoral independence, in 2014.