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Skirmishes break out in Hong Kong mall amid counter rallies

Skirmishes break out in Hong Kong mall amid counter rallies

Supporters of the ongoing protests for democratic reforms in Hong Kong have clashed with supporters of the central government at a shopping mall in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

Hundreds of pro-Beijing demonstrators waved Chinese flags and chanted slogans Saturday at Amoy Plaza in the densely packed Kowloon district. Counter protesters quickly gathered there, sparking tension as the two camps heckled each other.

The situation turned chaotic with groups of people trading blows and some using umbrellas to hit their opponents. Police later moved in to diffuse the situation. A few people were seen detained.

The clashes came after several nights of peaceful rallies that featured mass singing at shopping malls by supporters of the months-long protests demanding democratic reforms.