Tear gas fired on protesters as fresh clashes erupt outside Hong Kong police station

Hong Kong police have used tear gas to disperse protesters outside a police station, hours after flights resumed at the city’s airport following two days of disruption that descended into clashes between demonstrators and officers.

In the blue-collar Sham Shui Po area, police fired tear gas on Wednesday night at a group of protesters rallying outside the station.

The protesters had gathered to burn fake currency and incense as a way to show their opposition to the police during the month-long Hungry Ghost Festival, when offerings are made to ward off the spirits of ancestors.

Police armed with riot shields and batons marched through the area. Officers carried warning flags and fired tear gas as they advanced, but protesters had already scrambled away.

Tear gas is fired by police in the Shum Shui Po area of Hong Kong. Credit: AP

Flights had earlier resumed at Hong Kong International Airport after a violent night of protests which saw riot police clash with demonstrators.

A court injuction taken out by the Hong Kong Airport Authority means protesters are allowed to remain on the site, but are confined to two small areas at the extremities of the terminal.

On Wednesday, a small hard core of pro-democracy campaigners remained in the terminal to take stock of the situation.

In a bid to prevent their numbers increasing, authorities are inspecting the boarding passes and passports of people attempting to enter the airport buildings.

Read more: Is it right to brand 2019 clashes in UK and Hong Kong anarchy?Read more: Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters use signs to make their voices stand out from the crowd

Beijing has again condemned the demonstrations.

A statement released by the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, which is mainland China's mouthpiece in the Special Administrative Regions, said the clashes have "seriously tarnished Hong Kong’s international image" and dubbing them "nearly acts of terrorism".

Almost 24 hours on from the protests, many demonstrators displayed remorse for their actions, with several posters showing apologetic slogans.

  • What happened in the night of violence?

In a flurry of clashes on Tuesday evening, police used pepper spray and batons to beat back those using violence to make their voices heard.

Although most protesters left as officers arrived, some remained.

Demonstrators fought back, barricading entrances with luggage carts in a bid to stop the police advance.

The burst of violence included protesters beating up at least two men they suspected of being undercover Chinese agents.

One of the men attacked, it later emerged, was a reporter for Chinese state media outlet Global Times.

The publication's editor condemned the actions of the protesters in a tweet.

Airport security appeared unable to control the crowd, and paramedics later took both men away.

Read more: Is it right to brand 2019 clashes in UK and Hong Kong anarchy?

Read more: Police fire tear gas into Hong Kong train station amid clashes with protesters

Read more: Versace and Coach 'sorry' for T-shirts that angered China

Hong Kong police said they arrested five people for unlawful assembly, assaulting police officers and possessing weapons.

The scuffles have highlighted the hardening positions of pro-democracy protesters and the authorities in the region following months of unrest.

Those demonstrating are demanding Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam step down and scrap proposed legislation under which some suspects could be sent to mainland China, where critics say they could face torture and unfair or politically charged trials.

Ms Lam has rejected calls for dialogue, saying Tuesday the protesters were threatening to push their home into an "abyss".

Read more: Why are pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong wearing eye patches?

Read more: Riot police storm Hong Kong airport to disperse protesters

Read more: Hong Kong airport cancels all flights after thousands of protesters descend