The Latest: Hong Kong police launch move on protesters

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Protestors react as police fire tear gas at Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

HONG KONG (AP) — The Latest on the protests in Hong Kong (all times local):

11:35 p.m.

Police have launched an operation to flush out protesters who have barricaded themselves inside a university in Hong Kong.

Tear gas barrages were fired late Sunday at protesters outside the campus after an ultimatum to come out expired.

Police have created a cordon around Hong Kong Polytechnic University to prevent protesters from escaping as they move in.

The protesters numbering about 200 people have assembled an arsenal of petrol bombs and bows and arrows to resist.

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8:20 p.m.

Protesters have set fires on bridges leading to Hong Kong Polytechnic University as they try to keep police from advancing on their campus stronghold.

Orange flames extend the length of a footbridge over the roadway entrance to the Cross-Harbour Tunnel.

Police had shut down access to the area and massed earlier Sunday in an apparent attempt to surround protesters. Some retreated inside the campus while others remained outside to deter any advance.

Another fire was set on a bridge over the toll booths for the tunnel. Protesters have blocked access to the tunnel for days and set fires in the toll booths.

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5:50 p.m.

Protesters have begun retreating inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University after a police tear gas volley from a new direction raised fears they would be caught in a trap outside.

The protesters had held ground all day Sunday near an intersection just outside the campus, as police fired tear gas and water cannons at them. Many wore rain ponchos and carried umbrellas.

Police moved in with tear gas from the other side, where protesters have shut down access to a major road tunnel under Hong Kong’s harbor for several days.

Protesters began streaming into the campus, which they have taken over and fortified against any police advance.

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5:25 p.m.

Protesters have shut down a main street in Hong Kong’s Mongkok district, as police fire tear gas to try to disperse them.

Bricks have been strewn along part of Nathan Road, a wide thoroughfare lined with shops on the city’s Kowloon peninsula.

The Sunday afternoon traffic disruption appears to be a diversionary tactic as other protesters face down police tear gas and water cannons in a daylong standoff outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Protesters have taken over the streets in Mongkok every night recently, but usually only after nightfall.

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2:50 p.m.

A Hong Kong police officer has been struck in the lower leg by an arrow during a faceoff with protesters outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Police said Sunday the arrow struck a media liaison officer. Photos posted on the police department Facebook page show the arrow sticking out of the officer’s leg.

Anti-government protesters fired arrows toward officers last week, but this is the first reported incident of anyone being hit.

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2:05 p.m.

Police have unleashed water cannons on protesters in Hong Kong, drenching them repeatedly with blue-dyed and non-dyed water.

Other officers fired tear gas cannisters Sunday in a bid to drive out a determined group of protesters on the streets outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

The push by police came in an hourslong standoff that began in the morning.

Anti-government protesters who occupied several university campuses last week have largely retreated, but hard-liners have fortified themselves inside Polytechnic and refused to budge.

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1:15 p.m.

Classes will remain suspended at Hong Kong schools on Monday because of continuing unrest in the city.

The Education Bureau says all classes from kindergarten through high school would be suspended because of safety concerns.

The bureau has canceled classes since Thursday, after coming under criticism for not doing so earlier.

It says schools are required to keep their premises open for students whose parents need to send them to school during the day.

Many students have joined anti-government protests, with children as young as 12 arrested by police. The Education Bureau says students should stay at home, not wander in the streets and must not participate in unlawful activities.

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11 a.m.

Police have fired tear gas at protesters holding out at Hong Kong Polytechnic University as overnight clashes resumed in the morning.

A large group of people arrived Sunday to try to clean up a debris-strewn roadway. Riot police appeared after the cleaners were warned away by the protesters.

The police shot volleys of tear gas toward the protesters, who sheltered behind a wall of umbrellas across an entire street.

The skirmish came hours after intense overnight clashes in which the two sides exchanged tear gas and gasoline bombs. Many protesters retreated inside the Polytechnic campus.

Protesters have largely retreated from other major universities that were occupied for much of last week, but a contingent remains at Polytechnic.

Hong Kong’s anti-government protests have been raging for more than five months.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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