Dozens were injured and many arrested as Hong Kong's Lunar New Year celebrations turned into chaos when police and protesters clashed in a street market.
Activists were protesting over authorities' attempts to crack down on food stalls in the Kowloon neighborhood when the clashes began, the Associated Press reported.
The unrest began when authorities tried to stop unlicensed street-food sellers from operating in the Mong Kok area. The street sellers have become a tradition during the Lunar New Year holiday.
Protesters were seen pelting police with stones, bottles, and other debris. Fires were also lit in the streets.
More than 80 police officers and four journalists were hurt during the riots, Hong Kong's leader, Leung Chun-ying, told the press.
Police Commissioner Lo Wai-Chung told reporters 54 people had been arrested on suspicion of unlawful assembly, assaulting police and possession of dangerous weapons.
Student Julia Fung told the South China Morning Post she was more scared of the police than the rioters.
“You can feel rage in the police officers’ eyes towards the protesters,” she said. “Not only were batons and pepper spray used ... police were firing gun shots."
Yau said officers had no choice but to fire warning shots during the riot.
Alicia Melville-Smith is a homepage editor and reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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