Hong Kong in shock after anti-extradition violence

Authorities have shut some government offices in Hong Kong’s financial district after the worst violence the city has seen in decades.

By Thursday morning the crowds had largely dispersed around government headquarters – where police and protesters had pitched battles on Wednesday.

The protesters are angry about plans to allow extradition to mainland China.

Despite the widespread opposition, the government has not backed down.

Police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray at crowds which numbered in the tens of thousands along key roads near the Legislative Council Complex on Wednesday.

Seventy-two people aged between 15 and 66 were injured in the violence, including two men who were in critical condition.

What we learned about Hong Kong’s youth

By Martin Yip, BBC News Chinese, Hong Kong

The morning after the most violent protests Hong Kong has seen in decades, the scene outside the Legislative Council complex is quiet.

Debris is strewn about the roads – umbrellas, surgical masks – the aftermath of a serious confrontation.

Areas are still being cordoned off by police in riot gear, but there are no signs of protesters returning.

There is one elderly man shouting at police – he might seem like a lone voice, but anger against the police use of force is widespread.

As things stand, there is no fixed date for the reading of the extradition bill, although we’d expect that to happen next week.

Many members of the public, and the government, will feel a sense of shock.

They all learned something about Hong Kong’s youth: the strength of their feeling about Hong Kong’s political integrity is not to be underestimated.

They also showed they can get organised very quickly and they are willing take more radical measures than the generation that led the Occupy protests five years ago.

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