Hong Kong in shock after extradition protests

Extradition protesters in Hong Kong face tear Gas and Rubber Bullets.

Authorities have shut some government offices in Hong Kong’s financial district after the worst violence the city has been in decades.

By Thursday morning the crowds had largely dispersed around government headquarters, where police and protesters had pitched battles on Wednesday.

Protesters angryThe protesters are angry about plans to allow extradition to mainland China.

Despite the widespread opposition, the government has not backed down.

However, Hong Kong’s Legislative Council LegCo delayed a second reading of the controversial extradition bill and it is unclear when it will take place.

What led to the violence
The second reading, or debate over the extradition bill was originally scheduled for Wednesday.

In an attempt to prevent lawmakers from participating in the debate, activists in tens of thousands blockaded key streets around the government headquarters in central Hong Kong. Police were also out in riot gear.

Later the tensions boiled over as protesters tried to storm key government buildings demanding the bill be scrapped.

Police responded by firing tear gas and rubber bullets to block them and get them to disperse. After hours of chaos, the crowd eventually dissipated overnight.

Rights group, Human Rights Watch accused the police of using “excessive force” against protesters. Seventy-two people aged between 15 and 6

Six were injured in the violence, including two men who were in critical condition and some 21 police officers, nine of whom were taken to hospital.

Two protesters have now been arrested for rioting, according to reports.

After the violence on Wednesday, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, in a tearful address called the protests “organised riots” and dismissed accusations that she had “sold out”Hong Kong.

Only a handful of protesters remained in the central business district in the city on Thursday morning, though some roads and a downtown shopping mall still remain closed.

BBC/Nneka Ukachukwu