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Protesters disrupt Hong Kong's MTR services during morning rush hour

Protesters disrupt Hong Kong's MTR services during morning rush hour

Anti-extradition bill demonstrators block an MTR train in Hong Kong. (Photo: REUTERS/Tyrone Siu)

HONG KONG: Hundreds of protesters disrupted services on Hong Kong's Mass Transit Railway (MTR) system on Tuesday (Jul 30), as part of a civil disobedience effort in the ongoing crisis gripping the territory.

MTR services were suspended along parts of the Kwun Tong Line as protesters gathered at Tiu Keng Leng station in their bid to paralyse the city's transportation network, the AP news agency reported.

Protesters in the station put up flyers and held up a train by blocking train doors. 

"We don't know how long we are going to stay here, we don't have a leader, as you can see this is a mass movement now," said Sharon, a 21-year-old masked protester who declined to give her full name.

"It's not our intention to inconvenience people, but we have to make the authorities understand why we protest. We will continue with this as long as need."

Some angry commuters were caught in commotion with the protesters, while rail operator MTR said some services had been disrupted and urged people to seek other forms of transport.

"It's so inconvenient and annoying, really. I am in hurry to work, to make a living. Will you give away your salary to me?" said a 64-year-old man surnamed Liu.

Anti-extradition Bill demonstrators block an MTR train in Hong Kong. (Photo: REUTERS/Tyrone Siu)

Others were more supportive, refusing to blame the protesters.

"This non-cooperation movement is caused by Carrie Lam. She doesn't cooperate with the people of Hong Kong or respond to their demands," Jason Lo, 31, told Reuters as he waited for a train.

According to MTR Service Update on Twitter - an unofficial account run by MTR employees - there were severe delays on the Island Line due to "disruptive" passengers. 

It earlier reported that trains services between Tiu Keng Leng and Kwun Tong stations were suspended, "due to disruptive (passengers) found at Tiu Keng Leng station". 

It added, as of 8.36am, that train services were still running between Whampoa and Kwun Tong stations at four-minute intervals. 

The protest comes in the wake of Beijing's condemnation on Monday of the "horrendous incidents" during last weekend's clashes, saying the violence has caused serious damage to the city's international image, rule of law, public order, economy and lives of residents.

It reiterated its support for Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam and the city's police, and called on Hong Kong people to oppose violence.

READ: Tear gas, rubber bullets fired at Hong Kong protesters near Beijing's office

READ: China condemns 'horrendous incidents' in Hong Kong, reiterates support for Lam, police

Protests in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory have occurred almost daily, sometimes with little notice, disrupting business, piling pressure on Hong Kong's beleaguered government and stretching the city's police force, which some have accused of using excessive force.

It began in early June as a call to withdraw an extradition Bill that would have allowed people in Hong Kong to be sent to mainland China to stand trial.

Since the government indefinitely suspended the legislation, demonstrators have broadened their scope to demand greater democracy and government accountability.

Source: CNA/agencies/jt(rw)


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