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Hong Kong Police Clear Some Protest Barricades

Updates Appear Below Original Post:

Hong Kong police moved on Monday to remove some of the barricades erected by pro-democracy protesters, according to reports by Reuters and the South China Morning Post.

The protesters have occupied several regions of Hong Kong for two weeks. The protesters, as we've previously reported, demand open elections and political reform.

The South China Morning Post reports that at one of the protest sites, Mong Kok, plain-clothes police officers asked that barriers be removed, sparking a 45-minute confrontation.

The SCMP reports that, as of 8:21 a.m. local time (8:21 p.m. EDT), "Two lines of police officers face around 100 protesters at Harcourt Road in Admiralty, where barricades have been removed. One police officer speaks to protesters on a megaphone, urges calm."

Update at 9:20 p.m. EDT: Police Say They Aren't Removing Protesters

The police issued a statement "saying an operation to clear unguarded barricades in Mong Kok and Admiralty started at 5.30am to ease traffic congestion," reports the SCMP. "Police did not attempt to clear the protest sites, the statement says."

Bloomberg reports that the police have not moved in on the tent city at Admiralty, the main protest site, and that protesters "were not challenging the police."

Update at 4:00 a.m. EDT Monday: Protesters Charge Barricades

An angry crowd tried to charge barricades used by pro-democracy protesters occupying part of downtown Hong Kong, The Associated Press reports. That happened hours after police cleared away some outer barriers on Monday as the standoff dragged into a third week.

The AP reports dozens of police officers held back several hundred people gathered in front of barricades on a main road.

Tired of protests, they want the road reopened.

The tension eased and most of the crowd dispersed.

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Camila Flamiano Domonoske covers cars, energy and the future of mobility for NPR's Business Desk.
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