HONG KONG - Hundreds of thousands of protesters packed the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday to mark six months of an unprecedented, sweeping anti-government movement in this Chinese-ruled, semi-autonomous city.
The police-sanctioned march on Sunday which started at 3pm local time was largely peaceful but tensions escalated in the evening, when riot police got locked into a tense standoff with a large group of black-clad protesters who split off from the authorized rally to occupy a major thoroughfare in the business district of Central, the end point of the protest route.
Protesters set up makeshift barricades with plastic roadside barriers, metal sheets, bamboo poles and other objects on the thoroughfare and a box marked with the message “Do not kick, it may explode” was placed on the road.
Some riot police officers pointed their non-lethal shotguns at people and journalists gathered there and ordered them to leave. The police’s water-cannon-equipped anti-riot vehicle also stood by.
The Hong Kong government said the protest was "in general peaceful and orderly" but condemned "violent and illegal acts". The Hong Kong police said protesters threw petrol bombs outside the High Court and the Court of Final Appeal and spray-painted the outside walls of the High Court building.
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