At least 100 flights were cancelled and subway service widely disrupted in Hong Kong on Monday as a pro-democracy movement called for a general strike.
Cathay Pacific and other domestic carriers such as Hong Kong Airlines were the most affected by the flight cancellations, public broadcaster RTHK said. Airport express train service was also suspended.
A citywide strike and demonstrations in seven districts in Hong Kong have been called for Monday afternoon. They follow a weekend of clashes with police on the streets.
Hong Kong has seen protests all summer. A movement against an extradition bill that would have allowed residents to be sent to mainland China to stand trial has expanded into demands for an investigation into alleged police abuse at protests and the dissolution of the legislature. Protesters also want full democracy for the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.
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Protesters snarled the morning rush hour by blocking train and platform doors to prevent trains from leaving stations.
Subway and train operator MTR said Monday that service had been partially suspended on five lines because of a number of door obstruction incidents.
It’s the third time in three weeks that protesters have disrupted train service.
Speaking to reporters Monday morning, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said the recent protests have pushed the city to the “verge of a very dangerous situation” but the government will be resolute in ensuring public order.
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A tired looking Lam delivered the remarks at a news conference that follows weeks of daily marches and demonstrations that have frequently devolved into violent confrontations, with police deploying tear gas rubber bullets and other crowd control measures.
Lam said the violence and disruptions were creating anxiety among citizens and now was the time to set aside differences and “rally together.”
© 2019 The Canadian Press