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Last campus protesters hold out as Hong Kong schools reopen

(Medical workers escort a protester from Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. A small band of anti-government protesters, their numbers diminished by surrenders and failed escape attempts, remained holed up at a Hong Kong university early Wednesday as they braced for the endgame in a police siege of the campus. AP Photo: Vincent Yu)

HONG KONG (AP): Hong Kong schools reopened Wednesday after a six-day shutdown but students and commuters faced transit disruptions as the last protesters remained holed up on a university campus.

City officials tried to restore a sense of normalcy as primary and secondary classes resumed. They sent inspectors to examine the damage to a major road tunnel targeted by protesters, but it was unclear when it could be reopened.

A small group of protesters refused to leave Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the remnants of hundreds who took over the campus for several days. They won’t leave because they would face arrest. Police have set up a cordon around the area to prevent anyone from escaping.

The occupation of Polytechnic capped more than a week of intense protests, the latest flareup in the often violent unrest that has gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for more than five months.

Since a police siege of the campus began Sunday, more than 1,000 people have been arrested and hundreds of injured treated at hospitals, authorities said.

There were scattered incidents of protesters stopping trains by opening emergency doors and blocking traffic Wednesday but on a much smaller scale than last week.

Some train stations remained shut because of damage from earlier protests.

A group of protesters, joined by students in uniform, blocked traffic at one intersection. Others in the area argued with them, removing some of the metal barriers that protesters carried into the street.

Even as the latest violence wound down, a fundamental divide suggests the protests in the former British colony are far from over.

Published Date: Tuesday, November 19th, 2019 | 10:33 PM

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