Hong Kon, June 13: Hong Kong authorities were shutting government offices for the rest of the week after a day of violence over an extradition bill that would allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial. Early on Thursday just a handful of protesters remained milling about as a widespread cleanup around the city`s legislature took place.
Police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray in a series of skirmishes on Wednesday to clear demonstrators from the city`s legislature. It was some of the worst violence in Hong Kong since Britain handed it back to Chinese rule in 1997.
The Hong Kong Hospital Authority said 72 people had been hospitalised by 10 pm on Wednesday. The extradition bill, which will cover Hong Kong residents and foreign and Chinese nationals living or travelling through the city, has sparked concerns it may threaten the rule of law that underpins Hong Kong's international financial status.
Chinese state media said in editorials published on Thursday that the protests were "hammering" Hong Kong`s reputation. It is lawlessness that will hurt Hong Kong, not the proposed amendments to its fugitive law, said the English-language China Daily. WORKING AS NORMAL
Face masks, goggles, helmets and water bottles strewn around the legislature area were being cleaned up on Thursday, while a police team stood nearby looking relaxed.