MOSCOW, October 19 (RIA Novosti) - Twenty protesters in Hong Kong were injured in clashes with baton-wielding riot police on Sunday morning as unrest continued into its fourth day, reports said.
Dozens of law enforcers are said to have pushed into the crowd that rallied at the Mongkok protest site and struck demonstrators with batons, according to Agence France Press.
Police claim they offered minimal resistance when protesters tried to charge their lines, although activists said they had done nothing to provoke the police. Throughout the night, protesters gained control of a busy crossroads and began to set up new barricades.
Hong Kong police estimate that around 9,000 people had taken part in clashes with riot police, 26 were arrested. Fifteen policemen were wounded.
Rallies have been rocking Hong Kong, the once British colony that was handed back to China in 1997, for almost three weeks. Protesters are calling for free elections in 2017 and for Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to step down. They claim that Beijing has gone back on its pledge to allow universal suffrage in Hong Kong, when China insisted on screening election candidates.
On Thursday, Leung Chun-ying expressed hope that the government would not let protests in the Chinese Special Administrative Region continue following a surge in violence between demonstrators and police.