Hong Kong
Hong Kong Pixabay

After five straight days of traffic disruption and chaos, Hong Kong witnessed a relatively calm Saturday as a key highway fully reopened after being blocked by protesters the night before.

With the closure of the Tolo Highway and the suspension of the MTR train services on Friday, the government provided free ferry services between Tai Po and Wu Kai Sha, so that residents could travel to other parts of the city, reports the South China Morning Post.

However, main arteries such as the Cross-Harbour Tunnel and stretches of Pok Fu Lam Road and Bonham Road remained blocked, while MTR train services between Fo Tan and Tai Po Market were still suspended.

Train services were also suspended between Hung Hom and Mong Kok East after a petrol bomb was thrown onto the track on Saturday morning, but services later resumed.

On Friday night, protesters clashed with police in Mong Kok and occupied the Chinese University (CUHK), before eventually pulling out.

Meanwhile, at the Polytechnic University, around 100 protesters were scattered around the campus on Saturday. Some were patrolling the grounds, while others cleaned up trash, or collected and tidied up food supplies in the canteen.

The University of Hong Kong's main campus, which had become a base for protesters this week, was quiet on Saturday morning, with hubs like the main library closed and few students to be seen.

Hong Kong has increasingly has become a battleground between police and protesters since June, when mass peaceful marches targeted a government proposal, since shelved, to allow the city's criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China.

Those protests have since morphed into larger activism, with citizens demanding the right to vote for their own city leaders.

This week, the pro-democracy protests have taken a dark turn. On Wednesday, a 15-year-old boy was hit in the head by what appeared to be a tear-gas canister, according to the city Hospital Authority, reports the South China Morning Post.

A day earlier, a battle between police and protesters turned a top university's campus into a combat zone.

On Monday, a Hong Kong police officer shot a protester, while in a separate incident, protesters apparently set on fire a man who had expressed support for police outside an MTR station.