01:20 GMT +313 December 2019
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    Protesters attempt to escape from tear gas while trying to leave the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) during clashes with police in Hong Kong, China November 18, 2019

    Hong Kong Police Lift Cordon Surrounding Polytechnic University After 2-Week Standoff

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    BEIJING (Sputnik) - The Hong Kong police said on Friday that they had retreated from the Polytechnic University (PolyU) following the completion of a two-day search operation and the removal of dangerous items that were left on the campus during the violent clashes that lasted for two weeks.

    "After two days, Police have removed all dangerous goods and have handled scenes of crime at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU). To sum up, Police have seized in total 3,989 bottles of petrol bombs, 1,339 pieces of explosives, 601 bottles of corrosive liquids and 573 pieces of weapons", the police said in a statement.

    The police investigators left the university and lifted the cordon. Further actions will be led by the university's administration.

    "We reiterate that Police adopt a flexible approach in solving the crisis at the PolyU. Police make every effort to resolve the situation peacefully", the police added.

    The university's management will now be engaged in cleaning and repairing the campus territory and conducting tests on the state of the air, water and soil. The campus will remain closed for an unknown length of time. Meanwhile, the administration has asked students, staff and the general public to refrain from entering the territory.

    According to the police, not a single protester was found on the campus.

    Hong Kong has been gripped by violent protests since June. The demonstrations, initially a response to an extradition bill, continued even after the highly unpopular measure was withdrawn in October. The protesters now claim that the authorities are abusing their power to suppress them, a claim that the government has denied. So far, nearly 4,500 people have been detained, over 1,500 people have been hospitalised and more than 400 security personnel have been injured during the unrest.

    Beijing has repeatedly insisted that the situation in Hong Kong is a result of foreign interference in China's domestic affairs and expressed full support for the local authorities.

    Tags:
    police, clashes, cordon, search operation, protests, Hong Kong, China
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