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Hong Kong to reopen Cross-Harbour Tunnel on Wednesday after protests

Hong Kong to reopen Cross-Harbour Tunnel on Wednesday after protests

The closed Cross Harbour Tunnel, seen next to the Hong Kong Polytechnic University campus, where a small group of protesters continue to hold out in Hong Kong, on Nov 21, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Dale De La Rey)

HONG KONG: Hong Kong authorities will reopen the Cross-Harbour Tunnel on Wednesday (Nov 27) morning, a senior official said, restoring a major transit link connecting two sides of the city.

The tunnel, which links Hong Kong island to the Kowloon peninsula, was shut after protesters occupied a nearby university campus last week, fighting fiery battles with police.

Chief secretary Matthew Cheung said on Tuesday that the violence had left the tunnel looking like a "war-zone", with fire hydrants and toll booths damaged. 

READ: Hong Kong PolyU campus protest holdouts left isolated and fearful

READ: Commentary: Hong Kong campus siege widens split between moderates, radicals


Debris left by protesters on a road leading to the out of use Cross-Harbour Tunnel, near the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. (Photo: AFP/Anthony Wallace)

Hundreds of government staff and contractors have spent several days clearing the site, he said. 

Authorities said last week that the tunnel was closed due to extensive damage.

About 1,000 people have been arrested in the seige at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the last of five campuses held by protesters over recent weeks.

Hundreds of protesters fortified the campus and engaged in street battles with riot police, causing massive damage to the area. Trash and debris littered the grounds, while walls have been vandalised and windows shattered.

A barricade that was the scene of clashes between protesters and police on a bridge over the road leading to the Cross-Harbour Tunnel, on Nov 18, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Dale De La Rey)

"Currently the campus is in a chaotic state, with debris, petrol bombs and dangerous chemicals scattered around the campus, which pose a considerable threat to personal safety," the university said in a statement on Monday.

READ: Chinese state media urge Hong Kongers to 'vote to end violence'

READ: First-aid workers slam medic arrests at Hong Kong campus

Police have set up barricades and a fence on the perimeter of the campus, while a handful of protesters remain inside. Those who remain holed up in hidden refuges in the grounds, with some desperately seeking ways to escape and others vowed not to surrender.

READ: Our coverage of the Hong Kong protests

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Source: Reuters/ga(mn)

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